Drupal Wins Overall Open Source CMS Award, 2007

The Content Management System (CMS) that Altamente uses has won the best of the year in Open Source Content Management Systems.

I have used Drupal for years. It has a steep learning curve, but its tight security model and object oriented codebase keep everyone happy.

Your company is doing great things... Now let the world know!

Nowadays, everyone wants to sponsor companies that are socially responsible. Who wouldn't? The world needs help and we all want to chip in anyway we can. So, if your company is doing some good for the world... let everyone know!

When you inform your customers, vendors, and colleagues about what you are doing, you might enroll them to help in the causes you are supporting, entice them to get their own causes to support or earn the respect of your present and potential customers. It's a win-win situation for everyone.

Here's how to start:

Have customers feel at home on your site

When you personally visit a customer you can shake his or her hand, smile and chat before you even start talking about your products or services. You can even share personal stories! During this interaction, the person can perceive your warmth and genuine interest in providing the solution he/she seeks. Although online it could be a totally different story, it doesn't have to be. Here are three ways in which you can have your customer or potential customers feel comfortable with you, even though they can't touch you:

  1. Pictures, videos and audio files: Media needs to be carefully used not to overextend page download times and cause frustrations. Nevertheless, when used properly, a video with a short welcome message from you, sound bites from a happy employee or customer, pictures of the corporation's employees or products and audio files explaining a somewhat complex concept can make your visitor from the other side of the globe feel comfortable with you, your products and your company.

  2. Blogs: Is someone in your upper management the type of person that likes to share his or her thoughts on the industry or product related issues? How about enticing this person to start his or her own blog?

  3. Forums: These are great to get your customers talking to each other and many times offering support to one another regarding your product. It's like having a room open 24/7/365 with people coming in and out talking about your company, products or services. Of course, there should always be a host in the room to make sure visitors feel welcome when they visit and get their questions answered.

All it takes is creativity, strategy and the right technology to have your guests from any corner of the globe feel at home in your site and with your company!

Five Golden Rules for Jumpstarting your Media Relations... Online

Step One: Develop an Online Strategy

Yes... a strategy. The first step is to pin point why reporters would be interested on your company, your company's senior management or your products and services? Once this is determined, your web strategy is designed to make sure that reporters get the information they need when they need it. It's all about strategy.

Step Two: Provide Information

Reporters need information right now. Deadlines in the news business are fierce and information is needed 24 hours a day. The more information you provide in your site, the better your chance of becoming a resource for reporters. A press section on the website with executive biographies, position statements on current issues, corporate photographs and articles are often very helpful for reporters and could even ignite future articles.  

Step Three: Position your senior management as experts

In your press section, remember to include short bios for your senior management and the areas in which they could serve as experts. If it were appropriate, some of them could even have their own blogs where they share their views on their field of expertise and engage in public conversations with an online audience.

Step Four: Can your site be found?

Make sure the keywords by which a reporter might find your site are included throughout your online text. What topics or words would reporters search for that have to do with your company? Repeat those words throughout your text and include them in your site's meta tags.

Step Five: Contact the Media

Once you have built your site, let the media know about it. Send a fax or e-mail to those reporters for whom you could be a source to let them know that your senior management can be contacted. Make sure they have the correct web address and that they know they can get all the contact information they need on the site.

It's a Good Time to Buy Hardware

We at Altamente have been really enjoying the heated competition between AMD and Intel. First we got 64 bit computing which expanded memory limits to the unimaginable, then as if that was not enough, we got dual cores - and then quad cores. Where will the madness stop?

These things may not make much difference to the home user or gamer. Single user multi-threaded applications are just not that trivial to write. Most applications have not yet taken full advantage of multi-core or even 64 bit computing.