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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Sport the SOHO Power Turtle!

A lot of people love the turtle that is in my logo - and a few people wonder what the heck it has to do with anything. Well, besides having been my online nickname for many years, The SOHO It Goes! turtle has special meaning. I wanted to create an image that was happy (aren't we SOHO business owners that?), memorable, and which represented those of us SoHo (small office/home office) folks who both live and work from the same shell. This turtle, like me and many of my wonderful clients, would be flying along, going places, with a smile on their face and the wind at their back.

So, I've decided to have fun with it and set up a Cafe Press store of my own, with the popular little SoHo Turtle. Of course, it's also promotional merchandise for me, but I did try to keep the promo secondary to the Turtle. I even created a line of SOHO Business Power items for the small office/home office types. T-shirts, sweatshirts and such for home office attire... even a couple kid items because people have told me the kids in their life would love something with my turtle on it. Well, here it is - enjoy! And let me know if you have any ideas for designs or slogans!

Visit the SoHo Power Turtle Store

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Insanely easy printing to FedEx Kinkos

I just gave the free FedEx Kinko's software a whirl and it could not be any simpler. In a nutshell, you download software that makes FedEx Kinkos a printing option on your computer. It works with any software, on Windows XP or 2000. When you are ready to print, it sends the document with instructions to be printed at any of over 1,000 facilities nationwide. With four or more hours leadtime, they will print your document(s) and have it ready for pick up or shipped to you. Perfect example - travelling to another city and don't want to lug 100 copies of your presentation? Just send it to print at the FedEx Kinkos nearest your hotel and pick it up when you get there. You can also have the printing shipped to you, or pick it up locally like I did. I like the fact that they will bind, collate and staple an order of any size, and it saves me from having to invest in a lot of high end printing equipment for the times I need a couple sheets printed here and there. There are no surprises - they quote the job right there in the wizard - pay online and it's off and running.

I have wanted to do some high quality color laser prints of my artwork - but I have put it off for ages because I never have time. But - yesterday I sent a PDF to print at a FedEx Kinkos and a couple hours later, I got confirmation that it was there to pick up. The quality of the prints were good - the cost competitive - the speed outrageous. Technology as it should be - saving time, money and frustration. Nicely done, FedEx Kinkos!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Google does... maps!

I'm directionally challenged in a big way. Maybe as an artist I shouldn't admit just how little sense of spatial relationship I really have. But anyone who knows me has seen and heard the (sometimes) hilarious stories of my travels. I have learned to leave early because being lost is so much part of my getting there. So, sites like are both the cure and the bane of my existence. Sometimes, Mapquest directions have sent me in places I didn't even know existed. When they get it right - oh, how sweet it is to sail into the parking lot of a new client on time and in the right city.

But I just discovered Google Maps and I'm so in love. If you have ever plotted an address or directions online, you just have to try it to compare and see what I mean. It is still in "beta" (testing) and only works in IE 5.5 (Win), FireFox 0.8 , Netscape 7.1 and Mozilla 1.4. And there are a few things they can still improve on - like the ability to store addresses you connect to often. I'd LOVE to see them really go out on a limb and make it so you could enter the name of the location (ie., the Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak Station) and it would find and suggest the address using that big 'ol database of theirs. But, in most every way, it blows Mapquest and Yahoo Maps clear out of the water - - it's absolutely amazing!!!

Visit Google Maps

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Blogging De Ja Vu

Whe I first encountered blogging, I had a sense of de ja vu. I guess its because I was around for the early days of the web, when the web pages we designed were plain, textual, few graphics, and fairly linear. And, every now and then, I hear some muttering from someone online that blogs aren't really a big deal because they are really just simple web pages - and haven't we already been there, done that?

But there are differences. First, during the first round, we didn't have simple to use, powerful content publishing systems (like that would let just about anyone self publish without touching code. Those first web sites were hand coded in a text editor - and now, no one need get thier hands dirty at all. Second, the concept of the World Wide Web wasn't as mainstream as it is now, and the audience and participants many fewer. Third, the whole commercialization of the web had barely caught fire in 1995 - whereas now, its hard to remember a day when it WAS all about communication and community, not commerce. And of course, with that, there is the fact that all of the other systems have evolved - search engines, online marketing, database technology, for example. Which puts blogs in place in a very different world than the one the first web sites entered into.

Sure, the basic end results of a blog do seem a lot like those early web pages - but what has occurred in the enviroment they exist in, in 10 years, give them positioning and potential that wasn't possible before.

At least that is how I see it. Today :)