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 Design, Communications and Technology Solutions April 2003 
Dear Clients & Colleagues,

SOHO It Goes! is off to a great start. I am thoroughly enjoying my return to self employment, although I've never worked so hard! Just since January, I've filed a DBA certificate, done some market research, written a business and marketing plan, developed a content- filled web site, registered the name and logo for trademark with the federal government, filed for NYS Women-Owned Business Enterprise status, joined and become active in local Chamber groups - and written this newsletter!

With all this now in place, I am now actively marketing my design, communications and technology services to entrepreneurs, small businesses and associations. I am also exploring new and improved ways to communicate with my clients and colleagues, which is how this bi-monthly newsletter came to be. I hope that you find the information useful and pass it on to anyone you think might be interested in future episodes. Welcome, and enjoy!

Feature: Effective Surveys

As the web becomes more and more a part of both our personal and business lives, business people and marketing professionals have turned towards web surveys to do research, plan projects, get feedback and develop new products and services.

The emergence of excellent web survey applications, complete with wizards to make creation fast and simple, templates to ensure attractive designs, and full suites of reports and statistical analysis, make this method of interacting with your customers very attractive and extremely cost effective. However, as with all computer applications, the old adage "garbage in, garbage out" applies to surveys as well - if you do not know how to design an effective survey, the results will leave much to be desired.

Read my tips for effective surveys...

Project News

I am very pleased to be working with the NYS Association of Area Agencies on Aging to develop a web communications plan for the association and their members. By surveying the member agencies, and assessing the existing content on the NYSAAAA web site, a plan for new web development is underway.

In addition, welcome back to some of my Turtle's Web clients, returned now that I've expanded my services to include broader design and communication solutions. In addition to NYSAAAA, I have two other interesting projects in the works - a series of graphic illustrations for print and web showing how a particular product works, and a Powerpoint presentation for a local garden club proposing a public garden. Animated bugs and bunnies - what fun!

Trillian Solves Chat Conflicts

Have you ever found yourself wanting to use chat software such as AOL Instant Messenger to talk to a friend or client, only to find out that they have a different chat client, such as MSN Messenger? And you tried to install both only to find one of them didn't want to play nice with the other? Or maybe you have three or four different clients on your computer already, and find it's a real pain to keep them all running (not to mention a resource hog!).

I recently started using an application called Trillian to provide me with universal connectivity to all the chat applications. Trillian allows you to operate in multiple chat clients at once, in one environment. After installing the chat client, you can import all your lists from the other clients and set the preferences to make it function how you like. There is a free and a pro version -- the $25 pro version is more feature rich and allows you to send attachments, for example.

Go to Cerulean Studios to find out more!

Using Chat Professionally

Speaking of chat - if you're a counselor, coach, consultant or any sort of professional with information to distribute to potential clients, have you ever thought about offering online consulting or counseling services? If you have the sort of business where services can be offered over the phone, and you can type - this might just be another service for you to offer.

By using an online payment system like PayPal, and any of the popular chat clients that are commonly used by so many, you could promote this service via your web site and create another potential revenue stream for your business.

Help Me Pick a Topic

I am considering writing a series of articles for this newsletter over the next year. The choices are:

  • E-Comm 4: A series of articles and interviews about electronic communications as used by not for profits, writers/authors, health care professional, counselors or therapists, etc.
  • Virtual Inc. A series articles about people doing business virtually, and how they have harnessed today's technology to make it happen

Please take a moment to complete a simple survey about which series you would be most interested in. You may even be someone I want to feature -- so let me know that too!

Take the survey

Let me count the whys...

It's no secret I LOVE the web, especially for sharing information, building membership and community, and doing good. So, I would like to share some of the best, most useful, and most informational sites with you!

Epinions.com
Whatever it is you are thinking of purchasing, someone already has. This site is loaded with reviews from real people, about real products. They rate the products, and they rate each other's reviews. I go here before I buy ANYTHING.

Learn2.com
If you like to do new things and learn stuff, you'll love this site. It's full of little bite-size tutorials, on every imaginable subject.

OneLook
Here is one to place on your favorites -- it links up over 800 different dictionaries into one easy interface -- just enter the word or phrase you need defined and it returns every definition there is for it.

Back up Outlook!

Many people have asked me over the years, how to backup Outlook -- and it amazes me how difficult Microsoft, a company famous for bloating software with new features, makes doing something so critical!

Finally, I found a solution for Outlook 2000 or XP; an add-in which, once installed and set up, will remind you every time you close Outlook to back up the .PST, or personal folder, including the Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts. Worth the effort, if you've ever struggled to back it up manually, or lost everything because you didn't. Let's just hope Bill makes part of a future upgrade.

Download MS Outlook Backup Now!

Diversify Your Interests

Many of you received this newsletter because you were past clients or colleagues, and previously agreed to receive communications from SOHO It Goes! I wrote earlier to let you know you were automatically signed up to receive my bi-monthly "general interest" newsletter, which covers a little bit of everything! If you wish to be more specific about what interests you, so I can better target future information I might share, click on the Update Your Profile link at the bottom of this email!

The Legal Mumbo Jumbo

2003 All Rights Reserved - This newsletter is intended to be read and passed around by entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations interested in electronic communication, design and technology. Please don't reproduce this document or its contents without written permission from and credit to Eileen Parzek, SOHO It Goes!

   
   
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