Outback Solutions has a new website!  Special thanks to Jody Amato and Sandra Swenson-Scott for their assistance.

Outback Solutions Internet design & serviceIn order to visit the site, I ask that you initially open Google by clicking right hereThen select the Outback Solutions link, which will look something like the information directly below.  By following this procedure you are sending a positive message to Google that assists the Outback Solutions site SEO.  I recommend you encourage your friends and associates do something similar with your site, i.e. search Google for a general phrase related to your site and click your site ONLY.  If you can’t find your site easily call Outback!

Internet Web Site Design | Outback Solutions Web Design 
Outback Solutions, Web Design is an Internet website design, development, service company based in Sacramento, California.

When you enter the site please look at the following new pages.  At the very least please visit one internal page.
1. Outback Solutions photography.
2. Portfolio including categorized examples and thumbnails.
3. Our Team.

I would also ask you do as much or as little as you feel comfortable of the following items:
1. Review each of the pages of the site.
2. On the homepage:
a. Click the “Like” button in the lower right corner of the page.
b. Subscribe to Wallaby Blog by entering your email address in the space provided in the lower right corner.
c. Select the Facebook logo and “Like” the  Outback Solutions’ Facebook page.
d. Select the LinkedIn logo and click the appropriate button to follow Outback Solutions LinkedIn company page.

BTW, if you are interested in learning more about using various social media components to enhance your website’s SEO call Outback Solutions.

Thank you.


Costello's Ace Hardware Facebook Fan Gate couponsRecently Outback Solutions was asked by a client, Costello’s Ace Hardware, to place a coupon on their Facebook page which could only be seen by those who select the page “Like” button.  This was an interesting request, and one I found actually offered a raft of opportunities for any business with a Facebook “business” page.

The premise of fan gate applications (as they are known) is that visitors to your business Facebook page can only see certain content if they “Like” the page.  This of course offers a tremendous opportunity to increase the number of people who follow your Facebook entries.  By offering special incentives, only available on Facebook, you may more effectively track the value of your page.  In addition, If you have a store front, like Costello’s Ace Hardware in Long Island, NY you may also increase the foot traffic into your place of business.

The application we used to create the Costello’s Ace Hardware “Coupons” fan gate page is  Wildfire’s “iFrames for Pages”.  It is easy to use and download, and even better, it provides a simple interface to add all the information needed to create a Fan Gate page.  Granted some basic knowledge of HTML is very helpful, but it is certainly not essential.  iFrames for Pages creates a panel in which you may:
1. Choose to turn Fan Gate “on” or “off”.
2. Create the “Fans View” using a custom image or HTML, and
3. Create the “Non-Fans View” using a custom image or HTML.
Once this complete it is a simply a matter selecting the disclaimer and saving your work. The page is immediately available and operational.

Given the success of the Costello’s Fan Gate, we have also added it to a number of other Facebook business pages including:
1.  Carmichael Ace Hardware – Sacramento, CA
2. Gardnerville Ace Hardware – Gardnerville, NV
3. Mr. Electric – Rancho Cordova, CA

If you would like to know more about how a Fan Gate can help build your Facebook business page following send an email to design@outback.ws or call 1-888-794-9287.

Watch this great video from Excentric to see how the Web might tell the Nativity story if it happened today!  It’s the original Christmas story told through various online mediums including; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail, Foursquare and Amazon.

Times may change, but the feeling remains the same.  Happy Digital Christmas!

FacebookI’m often asked what times are the most people using Facebook, and when is the best time to get a status update read by the most people.  According to a number of observers early morning, midday and late afternoon are the most popular times for Facebook usage.

A social media management company called Virtrue recently released the results of a study that seem to confirm the observations.  Virtrue analyzed Facebook posts over a three year period which concluded in October 2010.  The results were drawn from more than 1.64 million posts.  Click here to read more about the study.

Listed below are some of the most interesting findings of the study:

  • Week day Facebook usage becomes very popular beginning at about 8am PT and has peaks at 12noon and 5 pm PT.
  • The single largest usage typically occurs at 12noon PT on week days.
  • Usage during all week days is consistent, but Wednesday 12noon PT is the busiest hour.
  • Usage is less pronounced  during the weekend.

So What? Your aim should be to get your message to the maximum number of readers, with the ultimate goal of  sending your idea or brand viral!  Therefore, your first step must be to broadcast your message to as many friends and readers as possible.  So now you know the most productive times to post those updates.  Get on to it, but please respect the hours of business and use them accordingly!

Outback Solutions Social Networking 201Last Saturday, October 16th Jody Amato, Larisa Capodieci and I conducted the Autumn Social Networking 201 class.  It was one of the most diverse group of participants with whom we have worked.  The group included; a psychologist, realtor, coach, automobile body shop, virtual assistant, retail CEO, chef and two high school students.  This diversity speaks to the wide appeal and broad application of social media.  Based on the participants’ feedback they found the seminar eye opening! Thank you to you all for making the workshop a success.

In an effort to assist the workshop participants, and others who are interested in developing their social media presence, below are a selection of Larisa, Jody and John’s social media platforms:
Larisa: Balfour Facebook pageTwitterblog.
Jody: Inkblot Communications Facebook page, Inkblot blogLinkedin.
John: Outback Solutions Facebook page, LinkedinBNI blog

Special thanks again to Brian Bentzen, the Sac Chef, who catered the workshop and Sean Boyd, Mr. Loophole, who provided the venue.

Finally, the next Social Networking 201 workshop is not yet scheduled. If you would like to attend the next seminar please call (916) 489-9302 or email design@outbacksolutions.com to register.

Social Networking 102 at BizFest 2010 I will be presenting “Social Networking 101” (SN 101) at BNI Central Valley’s BizFest 2010 during October at the following locations:
1. Modesto, Thursday October 21st, Click here for details.
2. Sacramento, Thursday, October 28th. Click here for details.

SN 101 presents information to improve your business’ social media visibility and credibility, which may lead to profitability.

The SN 101 agenda focuses on:
a. What is social networking?
b. The benefits of social networking.
c. Social networking strategy.
d. Introduction to social media platforms.
e. Social network etiquette.

The class format makes use of video, a PowerPoint presentation, handouts and individual participation.

For just $20 BNI members, and $30 non-BNI participants can take part in an excellent business building opportunity,which not only includes SN 101, but a wealth of other business information as well.

Call (916) 489-9302 or email info@outbacksolutions.com for more information.

10 Facebook MUSTSFacebook is undoubtedly the United States most popular social media platform. As it approaches the 500 million user mark it is difficult to deny its impact, and potential for both personal and professional social networking. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, is essential that those of us who are users pay particular attention to its function and use.  Listed below are ten simple things every Facebook user should consider.

1. Create a Strong Password. Your user password should clearly be easy for you to remember, but not easy for someone else to guess or discover.  As a general rule I recommend passwords be at least eight characters.  You should avoid dictionary words, even if they have numbers attached. A truly secure password should include both upper and lower case letters and numbers. Please never use obvious passwords like your name, password or 12345678. They are a disaster waiting to happen and just plain dumb!

2. Hide Your Birthday. Identity theft is growing problem in the United States and one of the key elements sort by identity thieves is your birth date.  I recommend your profile birth date be set to “Only Me”. Sure you may not receive as many Facebook birthday wishes, but your true friends will know your birthday without Facebook’s help.  Follow these simple steps to hide your birthday:
a. Select “Account” in the top right corner, followed by “Privacy Settings”.
b. Click “Customize Settings”.
c. Select the down arrow on the button opposite “Birthday”.
d. Click “Custom” and then select “Only Me” under the heading “Make this visible to”
e. Select “Save Setting” and you are finished!

3. Don’t Blindly Accept Facebook’s Default Privacy Settings. Facebook’s stated mantra is transparency, but it’s your life and your profile.  Therefore you must take personal responsibility for what it is, and what is displayed and to whom.  It is simple personal responsibility to examine every aspect of your own privacy settings and make a decision about who can see them. Imagine how much care you might take if you wrote a letter, speech and article which could be read by 500 million people, and then apply that same care and concern to your privacy settings.

4. Do Not Post a Child’s Name in a Photo Caption. There are some sad people out there.  Please don’t make it easier for them by providing information about your or others children.  Similarly don’t tag children in posts or photos.

5. Home Alone. Sure you’d like your friends to know you are taking a well earned vacation in Hawaii, but Facebook is not the forum to tell them.  Posting a status update advertising your absence is like sending an open invitation to the wrong people to come calling while you are away.

6. Sex, Religion, Politics and Money. As a boy growing up in Australia I was often told never talk about sex, religion, politics or money in public. This advice has served me well throughout the years. In the United States we highly value freedom of speech, which I also prize. After all, the Internet thrives on free speech and our business is dependent on the Internet. Nevertheless, I recommend that unless you have a good reason for doing so you should avoid discussions of sex, religion, politics or money in the social media arena. What is a good reason you ask? Well, in my opinion at least, unless you have a professional reason for doing so, don’t!

7. Unsupervised Usage by Children. Although Facebook limits its members to ages 13 and over, younger individuals can access the platform. Insist on children using the platform in plain view, ensure they are your friends in order to see their posts and photos, and here is a novel idea, lead by example.  Let them see you do as you say!

8. Do Not Accept Friend Requests from People you do not Know. Not only is this not very sensible it can be dangerous. Spammers, identity thieves, viruses and other undesirables stalk Facebook’s hallways looking for unsuspecting victims.

9. Posting personal messages intended for one friend as a status update. Facebook has a very useful message system designed for one to one communication, use it!

10. A Picture Tells a Thousand Words. Not having a suitable profile photo is a red flag that you have something to hide. There is no excuse for not including a photo on a personal page.

Facebook is marvelous tool to maintain contact, engage in conversations and foster relationships. Don’t let it become an albatross which negatively impacts your visibility and credibility. Remember what happens on Facebook ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT stay on Facebook. Your Facebook interactions may result in real world consequences!

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