Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Web Secret #186: Small Demons

One of my favorite websites is the curated collection of TED talks.

TED is a collection of hundreds of short, epic presentations from some of the world's greatest thinkers. You can look up TED talks by category.

My favorite TED category is "jaw-dropping".

All things being equal, I spend most of my working days on the Internet, and my jaw rarely drops.

Then my friend Alex sent me a link to

And my jaw dropped. Since I am a person of extremes, I did more than drop my jaw, I actually freaked out.

I can't even use words to describe small demons. You have to watch the video:

Honestly, small demons is so new, so mind blowing that I don't yet understand how it will impact business and professionals.

Maybe you'll let me know.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Web Secret #185: There's an App for That

It was bound to happen - an employee assistance program (EAP) creating a state of the art mobile app for iPhone, iPad, RIM and Android.

Morneau Shepell, a Canadian EAP, launched My EAP in May 2011 - and has been improving it ever since.

The app delivers interactive tools, support resources and access to EAP services via mobile devices to provide easy and effective access for people on-the-go.

My EAP allows users to connect to:
  • Health and wellness articles
  • e-Counseling
  • Information on a range of personal and work-related topics from acclaimed experts through streaming video.
It takes seconds to download the app (see below.) The landing page of My EAP is beautiful in its simplicity. There are exactly 4 options to click: work, life, health, EAP Services, plus an 800 number for emergencies.
The app is available at no cost via the App Store and BlackBerry App World. You can download the app onto your mobile device via the following links:

App Store
BlackBerry App World

Why did Shepell do this?

According to research, there were about 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions at the end of 2010 which equates to 77 per cent of the world population.

The number of people accessing the mobile Internet is growing fast. At the end of 2009, estimates indicated almost 530 million users browsed the mobile Web on their handset. This will increase to over 1 billion by 2015.

That's why.

The ball is in your court.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Web Secret #184: Website Costs

I often get asked "How much should it cost to create a website?"

The answer is “It depends.”

Are you looking for a 5 page website to represent a small practice? Or are you looking for a 20-page site with a shopping cart feature? Will the site include Flash? A listserv? A database? Do you want the web designer to create or edit content?

All of these questions need to be answered, before you even shop for a designer.

That means you have written all your content, know how many web pages you need, and what you want your website to do, before you even pick up the phone. Most people think you hire the designer and then figure out the content of the website. In fact, web design follows web content, and not the other way around.

In their November 2011 issue, Website Magazine published the following estimates:

Student/Offshore designer: $100 - $250+
Freelance/Professional designer: $250 – $1,000+

Basic/Brochure Website:

Student/Offshore designer: $500 - $1,000+
Freelance/Professional designer: $1,500 – $5,000+

e-Commerce Website:

Outsourced designer: $1,000 - $15,000+
Design Firm: $2,000 – $10,000+

Custom Database and/or Interactive Website:
Outsourced designer: $1,500 - $15,000+
Design Firm: $2,500 – $25,000+

A more expensive designer may finish your project faster than a less expensive designer – saving you money and aggravation in the long run.

Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Web Secret #183: Surf the Web Together

My mom rocks technology for someone who is 87. She orders stuff online, e-mails, and watches videos on YouTube.

Then again every now and then, she calls me with questions I can't answer. "I ordered dog food on and it never came."


Did she order it and it never came? Or did she think she ordered it, but never did?

So I end up logging in to Amazon under her name and I launch a search and rescue operation.

Problem is, she isn't sitting next to me, so no learning has occurred. I can try to explain what I did to fix the situation, but I can tell she is not getting it.

WAIT! She can virtually sit next to me thanks to

This is how simple it is:

1. I go to the website

2. I enter the url for in the space provided.

3. I e-mail my mom, and tell her to join me.

4. Tada! My mom and I are now seeing exactly the same web page, including each other's mouse movements.

Now she can watch me, as I demonstrate how to search her account and find out what happened to that 25 lbs bag of Science Diet.

Using, I can also:
  • Join my college aged daughter as she shops for her Halloween costume (must not pay for something too skanky.)
  • Watch a presentation with a colleague in Washington DC.
  • Look at summer rentals with my real estate broker.
The possibilities are endless.

You try it.