Yeadon Group Projects

Collin Yeadon, founder of Yeadon Group, talks about internal projects and views on Internet based software, industries and web technologies.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Congratulations Spammers!

As you can see below. The spammers have been able to trick my spam filter. I am so impressed I MUST use their services!

Dea e r Home Ow e ne v r ,

Your c w redi o t doesn't matter to us ! If you O m WN real e g st p at a e
and want I y MMED f IA e TE cas a h to s c pen k d ANY way you like, or simply wish
to L i OWER your monthly p f aymen y ts by a third or more, here are the dea g ls
we have T x OD w AY :

$ 4 a 88 , 000 at a 3 , 6 h 7% fi w xed - rat h e
$ 3 d 72 , 000 at a 3 t , 90% v p ariab g le - rat n e
$ 49 o 2 , 000 at a 3 o , 21% inte z res o t - only
$ 2 c 48 , 000 at a 3 , u 36% fi l xed - ra k te
$ 19 b 8 , 000 at a 3 g , 55% var j iable - rat d e

H g urry, when these de i aIs are gone, they are gone !

Don't worry about app g ro v val, your c c red w it will not dis k qual d ify you !

Vi c si p t ou d r site

Sincerely, Samantha Jordon


Uhm.. What? Wait a second, I don't speak gibberish.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Wired News: WhiteHouse.gov Uses Cookies, Bugs

Wired News: WhiteHouse.gov Uses Cookies, Bugs

This is the most idiotic article I have read in a long time. OH, GEORGE W. BUSH, How dare you allow this illegal tracking to take place. How dare you monitor the American public like this? I hope you can get a sense of sarcasm from those sentences.

A web bug? This is just getting ridiculous. Any web site, anywhere can and does track who is visiting their site. It is often helpful for companies to see if there is a great deal of interest from a specific company because they can then go back and add content in the native language of visitors and things of that nature. This kind of tracking mostly just helps to improve the users experience.

I look at it like this.. If I go to a web site, they are going to have access to my IP address, they can set whatever cookies they want. It's like me walking into someones house. Don't the people who live there have the right to know who you are and what your doing there?

What could that information possibly be used for? It seems like people will make a big deal about anything. Lets just ban cookies! Yes! Ban Cookies! Sure half the shopping carts will stop working along with countless Internet applications but you will be able to surf the web 100% anonymous. I think we should also ban unique colors and outfits. That way there is less risk of being recognized and tracked by Walmart cameras that want to study peoples habits and what path they take through the store. In fact lets all live 100% anonymous lives where you don't even get to meet the woman who gives birth to your kids. That way the government can't track anything about you that could be used for purposes other then.. well.. other then what? Isn't every possible thing the American government wrong?

Granted no one is saying ban cookies, lately at any rate. And no one is blaming George Bush, yet. But my point is simply that when you have an article up like this it can be real easy for someone who doesn't know about technology to get the wrong idea. Imagine what a sneaky thing a Web Bug sounds like to someone who doesn't know what that is. Using hidden images to track statistical information is common and used by pretty much every professionally developed web site you visit and probably some that are personal sites as well.

To me the WhiteHouse.gov web site should be no different then any other web site. And every other web site can track whatever the hell they want and use it for whatever purposes they want. And whats more, it doesn't have the slightest effect on peoples daily lives so who cares?

Get a life Wired, Associated Press, and the anonymous author of this article. You are all idiots spreading idiotic stories.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas 2005

Here is a video of my son's first real bike ride. I hope that you all had a great Christmas. Modem users beware, the video clip is compressed but still rather large so be patient.

Dustin chose the music here. Spiderman Freak.



xmas

Paige & Dustin


xmas

Garrett, Kieron, Alex, Andrew & Paige


xmas

Keiron, Alex & Paige


xmas

Kieron & Alex


xmas

Andrew, Garrett, Kieron, Alex & Paige


xmas

Dustin

Saturday, December 24, 2005

7 Step Web Planning Guide

Web Site PlanningThese 7 steps are intended to give the basic things that you need to look at while planning a web site. Planning is important for any industry including web development and e-marketing.

1. SET GOALS


The first step to planning your web site
should always be to define goals. A good place to start
is by asking yourself the following questions.

  • What do you want to accomplish with your web site?

  • Who is your audience or target market?

  • Will your site be for advertising, making sales,
    informational or provide other specific functionality?


Be sure to have a clear understanding of what your site should accomplish and then express those needs to your web developer

2. ARCHITECTURE


Think about how your site should look, what pages should it have, and how should the navigation be laid out. The basic structure of your web site should be created to fit the content that you will be providing visitors and the goals that you have set for your web site.

With a poorly structured web site or a navigation that has not been thought out, your visitors may end up abandoning the site if they don't see what they are looking for right away. However with a good structure the visitor will not be intimidated and may feel compelled to explore your web site.

Having a site created for you doesn't mean that you should be out of the planning process. In fact the best approach is to be clear on what you want every step of the way. That being said remember to be open to advice from your developer. They should have suggestions and advice that you may not have thought of.

3. DESIGN


The design of your site will set the tone for your visitors. It is important for your site to represent your company image and not be created to match an existing site that may not fit into your goals. You should also consider how your printed brochures and other marketing tools will work with your web site. Consistency on each page makes the visitors experience a lot more efficient and enjoyable.

Decide what do you want to say with your site design. Do you want to impress, inform, amuse, move to action, etc.?

Express to your web developer everything that you would like to have in your design. Provide a logo and any sales material that will help them get a feel for your company. If you don't have either of these things then have a designer create a logo for your company before your web site development starts. Often times a web developer would be willing to include a logo in the cost of a new web site design or would discount their usual logo price and provide different quality logos for print material and black and white versions for fax, letter head, etc.

4. CONTENT


The most important step to plan is what content you will have on your web site. This is what will keep visitors coming back, generate sales, or get your message heard! With a great design you will impress a visitor on first glance but without content their enthusiasm will quickly turn to disappointment. Your content should be a masterpiece in itself to ensure success.

You can often provide different types of content in the form of PDF files, Word files for downloadable newsletters or even dynamic content and animations, interactive product tours or a product demonstration created with Macromedia Flash. When it comes to the web you are not stuck with static text as you would be with brochures

If necessary it is often worth hiring a good content writer who will learn about your business and goals and work with you to place content that is written specifically to help market your site and/or reach your goals.

5. PRODUCTION


Once your web site has been completed it may not look or work exactly as you anticipated for a variety of reasons. Don't lose site of your goal. Remember that your site is a plan not a blueprint and there is always tweaking of content and navigation involved to reach your goals. The great thing about the web is the flexibility it offers for updating and creating the visitors experience. It is important to be able to constantly monitor the path of traffic and statistics for each page on your site so that you can use this data to improve the flow of traffic until you see that visitors are getting to the content or products that you want them to view.

6. MARKETING


Marketing your web site is by far the biggest challenge but with the right investment of time, money and planning you should be able to see traffic flow through your site and a return on your investment. Consider the following when planning and after production is complete.

  • Make sure pages are optimized for search engines including descriptive titles and keywords in your meta tags.

  • Register your site with search engines. They can take months to add your web site but they are free and will help drive traffic your way eventually.

  • Use pay-per-click ads such as Goggles AdWords or Overture.

  • Use banner ads on portal sites and sites related to your industry.

  • Consider using web based promotions and sweepstakes on your site.

  • Look into offline advertising, publicity and promotions.

  • Be sure not to forget the obvious; Place your web site URL on everything you touch or handout. Business cards, pens & promotional items.

  • Avoid *Free* marketing companies if at all possible. Many can damage your site more then help it. ( read below )


Be careful if you are trying to get a high ranking on search engines. There are many things that could drop your PageRank which is what the search engines use to decide where your site is placed. If you use certain "free" banner swapping deals or services that claim to be able to get you visitors for nothing there is usually a catch. One problem is if the wrong web site is linking to your site and they have been flagged by the search engines for abusing their services or they have a poor PageRank then the search engine looks back to your site lowers your ranking.

Search engines assume guilt by association. It can also damage you if you link to a another site with a poor PageRank from your web site. If absolutely necessary to link to sites that are questionable then you should have your developer do so in a way that it is undetectable when the search engines bot, an automated system that scans your web site, comes to examine your content. It is possible, for example, to use javascript code to load that page instead of a regular link without the visitor on your page seeing any difference.

7. MAINTENANCE


Having a web site should not mean that your content does not get modified and improved until your ready for a re-design in a few years.

The flexibility of the web allows you to always keep the latest and most updated information available online for visitors. For some sites the only way to be successful is to continually build out and improve the content on the site.

Consider paying a maintenance fee to give yourself the ability to have images or content changed monthly by your developer or if offered by the developer purchase tools that will give you dynamic content that you can change instantly without assistance from the web developer. Such tools could be content management, news and events administration, a Q&A database, or a customized database or feature made just for your needs.

Having content change or the ability to add content regularly will help keep your site fresh and provide useful information for your return visitors as well as the newcomers.

Simple CSS Borders with JavaScript

Simple Borders

Hey guys, I have a ton of cool stuff I would like to share but haven't been able to. I figured my latest bit of code might be helpful to some of you some day so have a look at this and enjoy.

This basically uses a bit of JavaScript and CSS to add a border to any image that you wrap with a DIV and give the class name "imageBorder". I tried to add plenty of comments to the code to make it easy to modify. Let me know if you have any trouble.

You can download the example here.

Enjoy!