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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Using Flickr to Embed Photos Slideshows on Your Web Site     MARKETING SNIPPETS: What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower     GRANNYISM #62: Nothing to fear but fear itself.~via SweetLeaf

What Is the "Second Act Slump" for New Web Site Projects?

Each spring, there's a screenwriting contest put on by the people that run the Oscar's. It's called the Nicholl Fellowship, and is the top screenwriting contest in existence. They receive thousands of entries each year -- and it's only increasing in popularity. If you win a Nicholl, you get something like $35k in prize money, for which you're supposed to write another feature screenplay during the following year. So, you basically live on that money while you write. Not bad, eh? It's highly prestigious, of course; if you win a Nicholl Fellowship, you've got instant (and significant) credibility in that field and can likely parlay the prize into a screenwriting career, if that's your desire. Not only that, but if your screenplay is good enough to win, you'll likely also sell it, which makes the prize even more lucrative.

I entered one other time, about 10 years ago, and plan to do so again, mostly because I enjoy screenwriting. Ideally, if I were in that industry, I'd probably like to write and direct my own films. But, for the purposes of the contest, one has to hold back from too much direction. The industry famously doesn't like it when screenwriters direct (meaning offering too much direction-type language within a screenplay), although many movie-fanatics intrepid enough to get into screenwriting probably have natural tendencies to want to direct, as well. So, that can be a challenge. Yet, each year, many thousands enter this giant, crazy contest.

What I wanted to address here in this web design blog, though, is a similarity I often encounter between the two fields. I call it the "Second Act Slump for New Web Sites." The word "new" there is key, as this phenomenon applies mostly to new sites rather than existing ones.

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Should Web Sites Link Back to the Web Designer's Web Site?

Recently, I came across some online bickering about whether web development and web design companies should place link-backs on the web sites they work on. Surprisingly, the more impassioned rants I came across were against this practice, citing everything from "it's not really good for SEO, anyway" to "that's free advertising for a company when all they did was build a web site." Well, I'm very much a fan of the link-backs, so I wanted to write up my rationale for including them.

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We're Changing Our Business Name to "Array Web Development LLC" !!

Quick News Item: Marketing Portland is changing its business name to Array Web Development LLC. It will take some time to fully make the switch on all of our own marketing collateral. But, we wanted everyone to know about this name change, as we're going to start operating under the new name immediately. It should be fun in the months to come as we roll out a new logo, web site, etc. Most likely, we will keep this website active at MarketingPortland.com as our primary blog platform. But, business-wise, we're now "Array Web Development LLC." Anyway, that's all for now. Just wanted to let everyone know!

Why Your Company (yes, YOURS!) Needs a Centralized Database Application to Manage Everything!

One of the things I notice with clients is that, no matter what industry they're a part of, there are usually software solutions available that are (1) specific to the client's industry, and/or (2) otherwise desirable even though they cater to a more broad range of industries. An example of the former would be a software suite to help realtors manage properties for sale -- very industry and process-specific stuff there. An example of the latter would be a CRM system that is ostensibly applicable to any business model. And why not? All businesses need to manage customer data somehow.

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Outsourcing Web Development to India: 2015 Perspective

As many of my clients and colleagues know, I've just returned from a month-long trek through Northern India. While this was a holiday, I wanted to provide readers here with a bit of opinion about India and web development. Quite commonly, I receive solicitations from Indian web development companies asking me to outsource work to them. As may be expected, the rates are usually the most attractive aspect of such scenarios, usually constituting the main selling point.

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Why Have a Web Development Company Audit Your Company's Efficiency?

Somewhere on this site or maybe on a personal blog somewhere, I have stories about taking nearly my entire corporate job back in the early 1990s and secretly reducing it down to a single macro. Efficiency has always been a particular fascination of mine and, no matter how many new clients I get, I've never encountered a client that couldn't benefit from efficiency improvements. As a field of specialty, this type of thing was a pretty big deal in the 1990s, with entire management companies springing up to address this issue. It's seemed to have waned a bit, since then, for various reasons. But, I think, in general, efficiency is probably worth revisiting now for many of the same reasons it was back then.

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