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Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.

Powerful CMS Made Simple Tool for Cut and Pasting from MS Word

November 17th, 2011

The newer installs we make of CMSMS now include a powerful paste tool that you’ll want to use whenever you cut and paste content to your site from MS Word or any other applications. If you don’t see this icon in your CMS please contact us about upgrading.

Normally, when you paste text content from MS Word it pastes with it MS Word background code which can distort your CMS styling or cause other undesirable effects.

Here are the instructions for using the CMS Made Simple Word Paste Tool:

1. Highlight the content in Word, right click copy.

MS Word

2. In your CMS page edit view, look for the MS Word Paste icon and click on it.

CMS Made Simple Paste from MS Word

3. After the Paste from Word window opens, right click paste or CTRL-V, then click insert.

MS Word Paste Tool CMS Made Simple

4. Your text now appears in your CMS edit window formatted without the MS Word background code. Adjust the styling and content if needed and press Submit or Apply to save.

Note: You should use this tool when pasting from any other source, not just MS Word.

Facebook Notes Change May Affect Your Social Media Marketing

November 14th, 2011

Facebook has announced that it will no longer allow automatic RSS posting to Facebook “notes” tab.  This  means that if you’re relying on some applications to automatically send your blog posts to your Facebook wall they may no longer work.

Here’s the user notice being provided by Facebook:

Changes to How You Share Content in Notes: You currently automatically import content from your website or blog into your Facebook notes. Starting November 22nd, this feature will no longer be available, although you’ll still be able to write individual notes. The best way to share content from your website is to post links on your Wall.

There are still some options available to help automatic this process . . . if you need assistance just let us know.

What is DNS and Why You Should Care

October 6th, 2011

What is DNS (Simplified)?

DNS stands for “Domain Name System” (or often incorrectly referred to as “Domain Name Server”) and is the service that assigns and directs where and how a domain name’s websites are hosted and email service is handled.

DNS has often been compared to a phone book* for domain names. It’s a giant index of the virtual address (IP Address) for each domain name’s website, email and other resources.

DNS is the service that “points” you to the correct server when you type a web address in your browser or an email address in your mail client.

*Phone books are actual books that old people use to find phone numbers to places like Walgreens and the VFW.

Who keeps track of all this DNS information?

It’s appropriate to think of DNS as a single database. However that database is dynamic and does not exist in one physical location, it’s virtualized  . . . in other words it exists only in “cyberspace” and the physical information is redundantly maintained and physically spread across multiple locations throughout the world. (No, the illuminati are not involved.)

There are actually lots of places that DNS records are stored and kept updated but the primary places or services that keep the major indexes of DNS information are:

  1. Walmart (just kidding)
  2. One of 13 International Top Level DNS Root Servers (OK, maybe the illuminati are involved after all)
  3. ICANN domain registrars. This would be the company with whom you have your domain name registered / DNS services through.

Facing the “P” word—Propagation

Propagation is a word internet professionals like to use to confuse others and make themselves look smart. It also is a term that simply refers to the update process that occurs when a domain’s DNS services are modified. Propagation is the time and process that your DNS service provider (likely your domain registrar) takes to update their information and send that updated information up the line to the Top Level DNS servers so that everyone in the world will get to the correct new server when they type in your web or email address.

Propagation creates much angst in the world because it can cause Websites and email services to do strange things and even go offline for a time. It causes angst amongst Web professionals because when a DNS change is made we cannot guarantee to a client how long or exactly what kind and to what extent service interruptions might be. It typically takes 24-48 hours for propagation to complete. Oftentimes it goes through much faster and sometimes, technically, it can take up to seven miserable days (something I’ve never seen personally).

Propagation is a lot like death, taxes and Britney Spears songs . . . as much as we would like there’s no avoiding them and, in all fairness to propagation, it’s not nearly as bad as the other inevitables.  The best course of action is to go into a DNS propagation period in an orderly fashion hand in hand with your developer—schedule for a slow time and have the correct expectations (Also, don’t yell at your Web guy because he has no control once the change is submitted. He also is more sensitive than you might.).

To learn more fun facts about DNS and propagation and to know how to prepare for DNS propagation check out our other article:

To have your eyes glaze over and be lulled into a peaceful slumber, consider these reviewing these more technical explanations of DNS:

 

Boeing 787 Microsite

September 26th, 2011

Boeing 787I ran across the website for Boeing’s new plane releases, aptly named newairplane.com, and was impressed. It’s one of the best examples I’ve seen in both design and function of the microsite.  What is a microsite you might ask? It’s a small website, separate from a the main website of a company, that provides a dedicate platform for highlighting a product, product line, service or campaign. Microsites can be on a subdomain but are most often on a domain of their own which includes descriptive keywords or keywords consistent with branding.

Being such a mammoth corporation even launches of new products as big as the Boeing 787 would lose focus if placed within Boeing’s massive corporate site. Their microsite isolates and focuses attention on one aspect of their business, their new product launches. While Boeing doesn’t have to worry about this, microsites can often times serve as successful components to bolster search engine marketing. The key is though they have to be legitimate sites with unique and valuable content. There’s no better way to get an understanding for what a successful microsite looks like than to visit Boeing’s at newairplane.com.

While we’ve not developed any microsites of Boeing scale, we have help clients successfully develop numerous microsites to better focus and market their products and services. Contact us if you have questions about the feasibility of a microsite for your company or brand.

 

 

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