Sending e-mail? Mind your matters

Just how many e-mail messages do you send each day? If like the majority of us, dozens. Now, are you doing something to make your recipients angry? There’s actually etiquette involved in sending e-mail messages. And if you don’t want to tick off your recipients, you will do well to master the following tips for exercising good e-mail manners.

Brevity might be off-putting

When a person receives an e-mail message that only says “yes” or, even worse, “no,” they might ponder whether you’re a lttle bit ticked at them. After all, that is a very short response. When sending e-mail messages, then, be sure to add a little more meat to make your recipients feel better. Rather than just answering “yes,” you may want to add a, “Thanks for asking” or a “Hope you’re doing well today.” That can make a big difference. If your message is brief because you’re typing it on a smartphone or tablet, set up a special e-mail signature that conveys to recipients that this is the reason for your brevity.

Always answer

When your inbox is back logged, it’s very easy to let some messages languish without response. You’re simply pressed for time. However, not answering an e-mail message from a co-worker, friend or family member is fairly rude. Even if you can’t yet address the actual question in an e-mail message, be sure to send back a quick reply explaining that you’re flooded with other tasks but will get to the request as soon as possible.

Take your time

We receive so many e-mails everyday, it’s tempting to pound out responses and send them back without first proofreading them. After all, that removes at least some of your e-mail clutter. However, this can also result in messages filled with typos, something that’s more than a bit off-putting. If you don’t proof your messages, you could accidentally forget to attach that report or photo you’re promising. That’s irritating for recipients.

Keep your voice down

Whatever you do, never ever send an e-mail message that is written completely in capital letters. This is whats called shouting, and no one likes it. It’s easy to see why: A message in all caps is hard on the eyes. Instead, follow the normal rules of capitalization when drafting your e-mail messages.

Spring Cleaning Applies to Websites, Too!

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Website

Just like your home, your business website also requires a yearly spring-cleaning. It’s easy to let things slide, and the results of that would be a decline in traffic, reputation and ultimately sales. This can be a very insidious way for you to lose traction with your website, as you don’t necessarily see it occurring. But it’s very real, and can have very real results.

So in the spirit of prevention, listed below are 5 ways for you to make a positive change in terms of how your sites appear, operate and prosper.

  •  Are your pages loading quickly? – It’s been said you have less than 10 seconds to load your page or most people will abandon and head for faster, greener pastures. If your site is image heavy, and packed with flash, you may well want to optimize for faster performance. Moreover, Google will penalize your site in the search rankings when your pages load too slowly.
  •  Defunct products, programs, and links – Make sure and remove old products, programs and particularly links that are no longer pertinent. Nothing frustrates a user more than heading somewhere and finding they can’t get there or the item is unavailable. Dead links and 404 pages will even affect your search rankings, as well.
  •  Stale content and old images – Likewise cull out text and images that are no longer applicable. All those awesome pictures from 2007 that feature people no longer working with you can perhaps be archived, don’t you think? People and search engines are both after fresh, current content!
  •  Social media – Make sure that your social media buttons not only link to your current social media sites, but that you are up-to-date with them. Pinterest and Instagram are later entries that might not be displayed with your social buttons.
  •  More fresh content that rocks – There isn’t anything you can do to help in this respect more than to provide a fresh dose of new, relevant to 2013 content! If you have content on the first page of your blog that is more than a month old, you definitely need to be more aggressive with your content strategy.

It’s spring, and time to get about cleaning. You’ll be glad you did!

iPad in the swimming pool? There is hope

It seemed like a great idea to bring your iPad to the neighborhood pool. Until, of course, you dropped it in the water. Now it feels like an awful idea. But try not to panic. There’s a chance you might be able to save that iPad. It’s true: Water certainly isn’t the friend of electronic devices. Even so it doesn’t have to be their end, either. If you act quickly, you may well be able to save your waterlogged tablet, smart phone or iPod.

Saving drowned technology

The tech Web site Gizmodo recently delivered a good tutorial of what you can do to save the gadgets that they have accidentally dropped into bodies of water. First, and most important, you should immediately shut down the device’s power. As Gizmodo explains, it isn’t the water that destroys your electronic toys– it’s the electrical shorts that the water causes. So if your device incorporates a battery, quickly remove it. If it doesn’t, make sure to turn the power off and keep it off. Don’t be tempted to check to see if your device still works.

Other steps

Once the power is off, remove anything else you can from your device. This simply means taking off back covers, removing SIM cards and taking off ear port coverings. As Gizmodo explains, there’s a valid reason for this: You want to open up as many holes as you can in the device. This will allow water to dry up more rapidly. It will also let more air into your device. Next, vacuum as much moisture out from the device as possible. A vacuum with a small nozzle is ideal for this. Finally, it’s time to dry your device. Gizmodo offers a unusual recommendation for this: Rice Krispies. Yes, dropping your iPad or cell phone into a bowl of dry Rice Krispies will suck water out of them. After 48 hours, give your device a try. If you’re lucky, it could possibly work.

Keeping it dry

Of course, the best way to protect your devices from the water is to keep them dry from the start. You can do this by using waterproof covers. There are plenty of of them available. In a recent story, the New York Times reviewed three options, LifeProof, Joy Factory Rain Ballet and Liquipel. All have their good and bad points, but each should keep your device dry if disaster should strike. But our best advice? Resist the impulse to take your electronic gadgets to the pool or the side of the tub. Why take the risk?

Backing up your Evernote notebooks isn’t overkill. It’s smart

Evernote is an excellent tool for saving you important information. Anytime you store notes, videos, photos or other documents in an Evernote notebook, not only is the information saved on your computer, tablet or smart phone, it’s also saved in Evernote’s servers. However, the tech site How-To Geek offers this warning: This is not really enough data security. Fortunately, How-To Geek also reveals how to provide more security by backing up your Evernote notebooks.

Not as secure as thought?

But this isn’t quite as secure as you may think. That’s because Evernote is a synching service, not a backup service. It’s entirely possible that some disaster – whether an accident or the work of a cybercriminal – to erase not only the files on your hard drive, but those stored on Evernote’s servers. Luckily for us, tech site How-To Geek explains just how you can create backups of your Evernote notebooks, a method to truly protect your most important data.

Protection

How-To Geek runs through several different methods for you to back-up your Evernote notebooks. Some are quite complicated. One of the simplest ways is to make use of Evernote’s “export” option.

Export/import

To do this, first right-click on any notebook and pick the “Export Notes” option. In addition, you can export your notes in a variety of formats, including Evernote’s native one. Now, if you lose the notebook or the data it holds, you can select the “import” option to restore the exported notebook as a wholesale replacement for the notebook you lost.

What do you really know about the Internet

It’s tough to envision a world without the presence of Internet. After all, so many of us use the Internet today to watch movies, talk with our friends, play games and catch up on current events. But how much do you actually understand the Internet and just how it really works? You might be surprised at everything you don’t know. The Web site Business Insider recently took a fascinating glance at the world of the Internet, paying particular attention to those little factoids that you ought to but most likely don’t know.

Facebook is King

You might know Facebook as that place where all of your friends brag about their latest vacations or post daily about the game-winning goal their kid scored for the school football team. But did you also realize that Facebook essentially dominates the Internet in terms of online traffic? It’s true. Based on numbers from Hitwise, Facebook accounts for one in every five page views on the net. Just last year, Facebook soared past the 1-billion-user mark.

The Biggest Data Center is Rising in Utah

Do you know where the largest data center is situated? Soon, it will be Utah. According to Business Insider, the National Security Agency is now in the process of making a enormous data center in the state. As soon as the center is ready for operation, it will eventually store an awesome yottabyte of data. Like most of us, you probably have no clue just what a yottabyte is. But the name is undoubtedly impressive. And know this: A yottabyte of data represents a truly massive amount of data. A yottabyte is the same as 1,000 zettabytes or 1 million exabytes.

Streaming is on the Rise

Do you stream movies or TV shows on your TV, computer or tablet? Even if you don’t, the odds are high that your neighbor most likely does. Streaming became one of the Internet’s most widely used features. According to the Business Insider story, quoting statistics from Harris Interactive, in excess of Half of U.S. residents are now using the web to view TV. Streaming video has become a particularly desired service among the many younger customers which are flocking to Web streaming. According to Business Insider, streaming is a huge hit among consumers younger than 35.