Blog Profile

Frank Garofalo

Self-taught in HTML in the 8th grade and doing web design at age 13, it’s no wonder that Frank ’s many talents have found a way to enhance the interactive work we do. From past employment experiences, including the Walt Disney Company and Bank of America, Frank holds strong values in outstanding client service and leadership among the team.

Frank is also an avid fan of his alma mater, the Purdue Boilermakers. He was a co-presenter at the 2008 Adobe MAX conference (San Francisco, CA) and the 2009 Adobe MAX conference (Los Angeles, CA). In his spare time, Frank enjoys snow skiing in the winter and traveling the world.

Posts by this Contributor

RAMP Enterprises LLC redesigned web site launch

May
6

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

6 May 2016
We are pleased to announce the launch of the redesigned web site for RAMP Enterprises LLC www.rampenterprises.com, a quality assurance consulting firm located in Connecticut.

Weilbaker Farms web site launches

Sep
10

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

10 September 2012

WeilbakerFarms.com launches as the new web site for Weilbaker Farms, a farm management company in Northern Indiana.

View the new WeilbakerFarms.com powered by Cyber View's content management system, CyberStudio.

PFive Human Resource web site launched

Jul
8

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

8 July 2012

We are pleased to announce the debut of the new p5humanresource.com. PFive Human Resource Consultancy is a talent acquisition firm in Zambia.

Import Residents by XML

Jan
8

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: ResLife Portal

8 January 2012

We are pleased to announce a new feature that comes standard with the ResLife Portal system. Residential life administrators will now be able to add a list of their residents to the ResLife Portal through XML.

This new feature allows residential life administrators to export a list of residents for other systems they may use, modify the XML format, then import the XML into the ResLife Portal.

Attending South by Southwest 2011 Conference

Mar
6

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

6 March 2011


This Thursday Frank Garofalo will be traveling to attend South-by-Southwest (SxSW) 2011 - Interactive. This will be Frank's first time to attend this conference and he's looking forward to it. Throughout the conference he will be posting to this blog and on Twitter (@fgarofalo). If you're going to SxSW, send him a tweet.

Facebook: Improved Comment Boxes on Other Sites

Mar
3

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Technology

3 March 2011

Facebook has announced improvements to the comment boxes that can be embedded into other web sites. Among the new features, one of the key capabilities takes viral marketing a step further. Once an individual posts a comment on your web site, using an embedded Facebook comment box, then that individual's friends can post additional comments through Facebook - all of those comments and threads of comments are linked to your web site.

The below video from Facebook explains all the new features:

Congrats to Kokomo Wines

Jan
24

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

24 January 2011

Kokomo Winery takes home Gold Medals at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
2008 Sonoma County Zinfandel - Double Gold
2008 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, Peters Vineyard - Gold Medal

Congrats to Kokomo Winery. Visit Kokomo at www.kokomowines.com

Congrats to Jigar Wines

Jan
24

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

24 January 2011

SF Chronicle Tasting awards Jigar Wines with a gold medal for their 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. As well as two silver medals and one bronze medal. Excellent craftsmanship Jigar Wines!

Visit Jigar Wines at www.jigarwines.com

Signature User Experience

Jan
10

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

10 January 2011
Cyber View is excited to announce a new consulting service, Signature UX, for companies to address growing expectations of customers to receive higher qualities experiences.



For more details visit: www.signatureux.com. Inquires about consulting opportunities can contact Cyber View at: www.cyberviewsites.com/go/inquire

Treating Users as Customers: Designing the end-to-end

Jan
6

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

6 January 2011

"Treating Users as Customers: Designing the end-to-end" (what a brilliant concept), is the title of an article by Steve Workman, a consultant at PA Consulting Group in London, UK. Workman begins his article with a discussion about how for web designers it is easy to divide elements of the user interface and/or the user experience into small parts. He states: "Breaking an experience into small parts allows the details to be worked through and perfected." This is true. However, only looking at the situation with a magnifying glass can miss details seen at the big picture level, as Workman describes: "It's rare that web designers think of the bigger picture - not just the end-to-end journey of a user, but the entirety of a customer's experience." The full span of the customer experience can take numerous weeks to occur, or "it can be as immediate as someone being told about an app, downloading it, playing with it for five minutes, and leaving a review." I strongly agree with Workman's point of: "...the need for designers to think big in order to deliver customer experience has never been so important."

The path a customer takes to arrive to your user interface can greatly affect the expectations they will have of your interface/system. Workman breaks these path/expectation combinations into three categories, to quote:

  • Search gives the lowest expectation because relatively little information is contained within search results.
  • Advertising often paints a rosy picture of products or services so expectations are higher.
  • Social networks produce the most realistic expectations, as this is the only channel where both negative information and independent praise can be found.

Trying to match what a customer is expecting with methods to develop the interface/system to meet those expectations, UX professionals usually turn to generating use cases. Workman states:

Many designers simply view this touchpoint as a single use case, and attempt to group people into buckets to predict what they will do. If customers expect more than a use case can describe, it is entirely possible that they won't be happy with a product or service - their expectations won’t be met.

With the increased number of web sites and mobile apps available on the web, customers' standards for customer support have also increased. I agree with Workman's thoughts on this:

A few years ago, a frustrated customer would simply sigh and give up on a difficult product, or try to accomplish the same thing using another service. More recently, though, people have been treating web sites and "garage-made" apps as if they were products from multi-national corporations, expecting the same level of service from a one-man band as they would get from their electric company.

This is now presenting one-man bands as well as companies of all sizes with several new challenges; "...expectations for support are also going up, often faster than the companies can keep up with," says Workman. He goes on to make the observation, which I agree with, of "...many companies, both large and small, are not providing the same quality of customer service that they provide for their core services as for their mobile apps... they make the mistake of assuming their application is good enough and their customers are technically savvy, so they don’t have to put much effort into customer support."

Looking at the big picture there are several actions that can be taken to improve the full experience of interacting with a company. Workman describes this as:

The customer's experience must be considered at all stages of UX design; the big picture should always affect in the design of the small picture, as each touchpoint in the ecosystem is crafted. Marketing teams must be involved in designing the customer experience, so that the holistic experience of using a service or interacting with a company conveys the right message every time.

Once again, the discussion leads towards collaboration with user experience, information technology, marketing, operations, and customer support. Customers today are expecting an open dialogue with a company to resolve any issues they may encounter. Not only are customer support departments being called upon to help resolve these issues quickly, but information about the issues need to be communicated efficiently to the other departments within the company so that the company can learn from these issues and better respond to the customers' needs thus moving towards the continual goal of providing the best experiences.

I'll wrap up this post with the last paragraph from Workman, which ties the idea together very well:

Thinking of the customer experience, rather than just the user experience, leads to a more complete product, one where customers’ expectations are met before, during, and after their journeys. Thinking of the big picture leads to happier customers, not just happier users.

Read Steve Workman's full article on UX Magazine at: http://uxmag.com/strategy/treating-users-as-customers

Information Architecture

Dec
28

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

28 December 2010

Introduction
Planning, designing, developing and building the user interface for a system has a plethora of parallels to constructing a house. Just as an architect for a house needs to plan the structural support for the house as well as the aesthetic design of the house, the same applies to planning the user interface for a system. Planning must occur for the functional development of the system, as well as for the aesthetic design of the system. But it isn't just that simple. There are business and consumer needs which factor into the equation, so the architect has to work within the threshold of the construction company's needs as well as meeting what the new home owner will want. Again, parallels exist from an architect for a house to planning a user interface. Considerations for the user interface need to be made for the business needs as well as the needs of the consumers. Overall, throughout the process there is a concept lying in the center trying to find this balance; that concept is called "information architecture."

The two primary items on either side of the balancing act for information architecture are 1) creative design, and 2) functionality / interaction. The other smaller players in the game at varying levels can typically include, but are not limited to: marketing, software, engineering, language translations, copy writing, and upper-management.

Planning for Information Architecture
When building a house, there are usually blueprints, material lists, schedules/timelines, and budgets. The same documents need to be generated when building an interface. Each of these documents are very important to have listed and detailed. This allows the key stakeholders for the project, in addition to the individuals actually working on the project, to know exactly what needs to occur. Sounds like another field is involved here… called project management. However, for this discussion I'm not going to focus on project management in relation to user experience and/or information architecture. Let’s further dive into the process of drafting blueprints in regard to information architecture. To quote renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, "You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site." Planning and concept development are essential, or perhaps you need to invest in a large quantity of sledge hammers (which from another aspect could result in a low morale among workers since now they are tearing apart what they just built).

User Experience vs Information Architecture
The two concepts of user experience and information architecture go hand-in-hand. However, if a "high-level" of one exists, that doesn't automatically mean that a "high-level" of the other will exist. I think Oliver Reichenstein, co-owner and manager of Information Architects (MA Philosophy; former senior brand consultant at Interbrand), describes this well in his following quote: "Architects design houses that lead to a spectrum of experiences, some foreseen, some not. But they do not design all possible experiences one can have in a house." In other words, an extravagant house can be designed and constructed; however, just because the architect designed for a room to be the dining room, the home owner could place a billiards table in that space instead of a dining room table.

The same is true for user interfaces. A quality interface can be produced with excellent information architecture, however all the possible use cases that could occur when in the hands of a consumer are almost impossible to conjure up. Yes, I'm stating that in my opinion, even a leading user experience expert would be challenged to account for all possible use cases for a given product or system. Although, through user testing and observing individuals, better use cases can be generated. To further explain, just because a team of designers and developers define a list of use cases, this does not mean that the consumer will use the system exactly as the use cases had described. This introduces a whole other topic where I've observed numerous occurrences of users essentially forming "hacked" methods of using an interface or system to achieve what they want the system to really be able to do in comparison to what the designers and developers plan with the use cases.

Recap
During the blueprint phase of planning, designing, developing, creating, and/or building a user interface, try to work out as many ideas and issues as possible. Build prototypes to test the concept and observe people interacting with the prototype. This is a cyclical, iterative process… make changes with a "pencil" and try to reduce/avoid the need for a "sledge hammer."

Find a balancing between what is visually pleasing on the screen and what is a natural interaction… in other words a middle ground between creative design and functionality / interaction with the goal to achieve a strong information architecture.

Compliments & Cheers

Dec
26

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

26 December 2010
In a recent conversation I had with Erik Miller, Winermaker and Owner of Kokomo Winery, shared an excellent testimonial. He described how over the past few months (since we launched their new web site in Spring 2010) they had received numerous compliments from their customers and potential customers at events and festivals. Many of the compliments indicated that people were impressed with the web site and wanted to "visit them in person" at a specific event or at their actual winery.

We appreciate Erik sharing the compliments with us and we have enjoyed working with a great brand. Cheers!

Visit Kokomo Winery's web site: www.kokomowines.com

Now listed on CrunchBase

Dec
7

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

7 December 2010
Cyber View is now listed on CrunchBase, part of the TechCrunch network of web sites. We are excited to have a profile listed with them.

Why Products Suck

Dec
1

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

1 December 2010
I recently read an article on TechCrunch.com by David Barrett titled "Why Products Suck (And How To Make Them Suck Less)." In the article he discusses how making a product not suck (and to avoid the "tar pit" of sucking) is actually a complex challenge - if it was easier, more products would be on the market that didn't suck.

Barrett's 5 key points are:
1. It only takes one person to make your product suck
From Barrett's discussion on this point, I liked the following statement: "Convey to your team and the world that not sucking is your primary goal."

2. Nobody ever got fired for sucking
In other words, hire intelligent people - Barrett shares the quotation: "A people hire A people, B people hire C people."

3. It's easier to suck more than suck less
This point made me laugh, especially when he elaborated and said: "Sucking is like a tar pit: once you step in, your struggles only pull you in deeper. After you make that one product compromise to satisfy some crazy customer, then you’ve got to support that setting." We certainly have run into that issue. Customer A wants specific features as a solution to their current challenges. But the feature is so specific to Customer A, now whenever you have to upgrade the system for all your other customers you have to upgrade these small plug-ins specific to Customer A. It causes such a headache...

4. There are more ways to suck than to not suck
Barrett's states for this point: "If sucking is like a tar pit, then building a product that doesn't suck is like walking a tightrope over La Brea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Brea_Tar_Pits)."

5. Customers demand sucky products
Ok so no offense to customers, but we all do it as customers without even realizing it. We want products to align exactly with our needs, but do those needs actually span across all the customers of the product? One strive we are taking towards remedying this situation is to make our web-based products more adaptive and anticipative to what the customer needs at the given moment. I certainly agree with the following statement made by Barrett: "…not all complaints are equal: complaints that you don't support feature X are far better than complaints about how feature Y sucks."

Read Barrett's full article at: http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/06/why-products-suck-and-how-to-make-them-suck-less/

Patent Filed

Nov
7

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

7 November 2010
We are excited to announce Cyber View's first patent has been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Will be release in the coming months regarding the new project underway.

World without Photoshop - by Adobe

Oct
31

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Creative

31 October 2010

Adobe MAX 2010 Keynote video

Connect - Discover - Inspire

Oct
28

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Innovation

28 October 2010
Adobe MAX 2010 has come to an end (I already cannot wait for MAX 2011). The event truly holds up to its mission to "Connect. Discover. Inspire."

Looking forward, some of the technologies we will either start working on or continue working on, include:
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Flex
  • Adobe AIR
  • Adobe Creative Suite 5
  • CSS3
  • HTML5
  • Google TV
  • and more...

Jigar Wines partners with Cyber View

Oct
28

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

28 October 2010
Jigar WinesWe are excited to announce a new member of the Cyber View family, Jigar Wines. Jigar selected Cyber View to architect a web presence for the new wine label based in Sonoma, California.

Save the User - by Adobe

Oct
27

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Technology

27 October 2010

Adobe MAX 2010 - Day 2 Keynote video

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Oct
24

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

24 October 2010
As I thought about posting this blog entry, I did think about the irony of posting an entry about the value of blogging. However, over the past month I've had several small to medium-sized business owners asking me about blogs and if they should blog.

Here are my suggestions:
  1. Thought Leader
    You can go about this in at least two ways:
    A) Post news announcements about your organization or company on your blog. This is an excellent method to inform others about successes and key information about your company. Blogs are helpful for announcements since the blog will already include a date stamp with the blog entry.
    B) Post your thoughts on trends within your industry. This is truly where the "thought leader" concept comes into play. By sharing your thoughts on trending topics of your industry through your blog, can help get your name and your company's name out into the industry. If people enjoy reading about your thoughts, they may return again - hence driving traffic to your web site.

  2. Social Media
    Once you have posted an entry to your blog, use social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter to inform others about your recent blog post. This can be done by simply submitting to the social media network the title of your entry and with a link back to the entry on the blog. By providing the link back your the entry, this is another method to drive traffic to your web site. The key here is to choose the title of your blog entry very carefully.

  3. Two-way Conversation with Customers
    Blogs can enable you and your company to have a two-way conversation with your current customers and even with potential customers. Among consumers the ability to have a two-way conversation with companies has become very popular. For more of my thoughts on this read my April 2010 blog entry "Have a 2-way conversation with your customers."
One of the challenges with blogging, once you have decided to start blogging, is finding time to continue blogging with a busy schedule. Don't let your blog go for too long without posting a new entry. Any following that you may have been able to establish with your blog can quickly end if you don't continually add new content. Set time aside in your schedule as often as you deem necessary to write a new blog post.

Hopefully these tips and suggestions are helpful. If you have additional thoughts, share them: Twitter @cyberview

"Design of Future Things"

Oct
23

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Creative

23 October 2010
I had difficulty determining which topic to place this post since it spans several topics.

Recently I've been reading a book by Donald Norman called "The Design of Future Things." I'm not one to do much pleasure reading often, however I have found this book to be: insightful, entertaining, and informative.

On page 93 he discusses the interaction between humans and machines. Through the various interactions that occur between humans and machines, there are all sorts of indicators that machines have been designed to use to attempt to inform their user with some type of information. Now that last sentence may sound very vague - but think about it from beeps to buzzers, LED lights to digital displays - there are a variety of indicators. Norman refers to this in the book as the "human-machine social ecosystem." For example, on my Android phone the same LED light will illuminate green for a text message, voicemail message, and Gmail message. However that single LED light doesn't provide me with information to distinguish specifically what it is trying to bring to my attention - and honestly at times this is frustration. Norman expresses the point that with the design of devices today - some devices try to adapt to the user and on the flip side, the user usually has to adapt to the device. This can be a strong positive and a strong negative at times. To quote Norman, "Combining implicit communication with affordances is a powerful, very natural concept" (pg. 71). Norman goes on to suggest that a "symbiosis of machine and person" is a form of "human-machine interaction at it's best" (pg. 90).

So from a user experience perspective, how can devices and interfaces be designed to benefit the user. Norman shares details regarding how devices today are trying to adapt to a user's behavior pattern to predict what the user will want. The primary goal to achieve is to not cause an annoyance or dangerous situation for the user, but rather to support the user. Predict and give the user suggestions. The device can then adapt and become better at predicting the suggestions to give the user without completely automating the process by making a selection for the user. To support the user information provided, according to Norman, must be "voluntary, friendly, and cooperative" (pg. 130). I certainly agree with Norman especially when he describes the concept of "informate," which he defines as "impact of increased access to information afforded by automation" (pg. 133).

There is a challenge between making a device completely automated and making a device completely manually controlled. The middle ground, as Norman suggests, can be a very complex and potentially dangerous combination. However overall, devices and interfaces need to "provide a user with tools to work and live smarter" (pg. 128).


Tweet with us @CyberView to share your thoughts and let us know what you think.

CyberStudio 5 - A Predictive System

Oct
23

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: CyberStudio CMS

23 October 2010

First an update on CyberStudio version 5... There are a few customers using a pre-release version of CyberStudio 5 and so far the reviews have been positive. Only a few minor bugs have been experienced with the current modules in CyberStudio 5, which have been quickly resolved in less than 24 hours. Work is underway to finish CyberStudio 5 to continue to roll out the new version to all Cyber View customers currently using CyberStudio - one of the benefits of a CyberStudio yearly license, as we release new versions our customers are automatically updated.

Now in the title of the post I mentioned "A Predictive System" - so to explain this... one of the goals with CyberStudio 5 is to allow our users to be more efficient with their time when using CyberStudio. To accomplish this options have been built in to the system to predict what the user will want to do next after completing an action. For example:

In the "Articles Module" once a user adds a new web page within the system, they will automatically be prompted if they want to add a menu link to this new page or to start adding content for the new page. If the user selects to add a menu link, the newly created page is automatically populated with all the information. Once the link has been added, the system will prompt the user if they want to start adding content to the site - selecting this option will take the user directly to the add content page.

With these new prompts, there are fewer mouse clicks for a user to quickly add a page, create a menu link to the page, then start adding content to the page. Similar predictive prompts will be included in other modules throughout CyberStudio 5 where appropriate.

Cyber View at Adobe MAX 2010

Oct
23

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Innovation

23 October 2010
Cyber View is at Adobe MAX 2010!



The above picture is from a chalk drawing I created today on the MAX Community Chalkboard near the registration area.

Looking forward to the upcoming keynote sessions and breakout sessions - learning more about technology trends with Google Android, Google TV, multitouch, and other Adobe software - Flex, Flash, & Flash Catalyst.


Also, I found out that Adobe MAX 2011 will be October 1st - 5th 2011 in LA (again).

Cyber View's new online presence

Oct
12

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

12 October 2010
We are pleased to announce a new presence for Cyber View on the Internet. While there are a few sections (including this Blog) to still be updated to the new format, we decided to release the new site.

The New Keywords

Jul
13

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

13 July 2010
Search Engine Keywords (image)The model of using keywords to promote web sites is not as effective as it used to be. Most people will agree that Google has become the dominant search engine on the Internet. However what does Google think about keywords?

In September 2009, posted an article on the Google Webmaster Central Blog entitled Google Doesn't Use Keywords Meta Tag in Web Ranking. So if Google doesn't use keywords, then what do they use? According to the article Google doesn't completely disregard all the meta tag data, however their web search engine primarily focuses on things, such as "links pointing to a web page."

Now how can you generate more links pointing to your web site from other sites. Two suggestions would be to utilize blogs and social media. Through these two mediums, links to your organization's web site can be generated. This can serve several purposes.

Some people have taken on the concept of striving to be an online content expert, also known as a thought leader, for their specific field of expertise by posting regular articles on their blog and spreading the publicity of those articles through social media networks (such as Twitter and Facebook). For more information about one way to do this, read my post about the Open Graph Protocol.

The Open Graph Protocol

Jul
13

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Innovation

13 July 2010
Open Graph Protocol (logo)The team at Facebook has created the Open Graph Protocol. Once implemented on a web page it becomes a rich object in a social graph. This can then be used, for example, to turn any web page into a Facebook fan page.

So what does this all mean? Facebook is providing another means of generating publicity for web pages. If a loyal patron to your organization visits your web site and clicks a Facebook "like" button (see my article about the Facebook Like Button for more details), the Open Graph Protocol will interact with the Facebook Like Button and will treat your web page as a Facebook Fan Page. This provides the opportunity to use your loyal patrons to help generate publicity through viral marketing. When that patron clicks the "Like" button it will then be displayed to all their friends that they like your organization's web site. This in turn can lead to their friends visiting your web site to explore the products and/or services your organization offers.

For more information about how the Open Graph Protocol can be implemented on your web site please contact us.

Cyber View is now hosted on the Cloud

Jul
8

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

8 July 2010

Rackspace CloudCyber View has completed transitioning our site to the Rackspace Cloud. We are excited about the new opportunities this will present.

Also, the new version 5 release of CyberStudio (scheduled for late July / early August) will be on the Rackspace Cloud servers as well.

To compare 2009 January to July with 2010 January to July, our hosting expenses are down 37%.

To compare a full year of expenses in 2009 to a predicted 2011, the forecast for our hosting expense should be down approx. 70%.

Thank you Rackspace for being a great web hosting partner.

Facebook Like Button

Jun
16

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

16 June 2010

Facebook Like ButtonOne of our clients asked us how the Facebook "like" button worked, so we figured we would create a blog post about it.

Facebook has provided a way for their users to share with their friends various things that they "like" including web sites on the Internet. A web site simply adds the Facebook "like" button to the pages of their web site. If a visitor to the site clicks the button, Facebook will be initiated to ask them for their Facebook user account. Then on the visitor's Facebook account, it will indicate on their list of activities (called their "Wall / News Feed") within Facebook that the person "likes" the web site. The friends of that visitor will then be able to see the individual's activity list and the description will provide a link from Facebook to the web site.

Or in other words, it's a way to get people to tell their friends about things they like and provide their friends a way to go find out more information about it. In the end, the visitors to your web site help to advertise for your company/organization.

We use the Facebook "Like" button on our blog - see directly below, under the section "Like It. Tweet It. Buzz It. Digg It."

For more details visit: http://developers.facebook.com/plugins

Accept credit cards on a smartphone?

May
13

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Innovation

13 May 2010
A company launched back in December 2009, named Square Inc. (www.squareup.com), has figured out a means to let business owners accept credit card payments through their tablet devices (such as an Apple iPad) and smartphone devices (such as Apple iPhones, Android phones, and others). A small device they developed plugs into the headphone jack. Then with the Square software you can accept payments securely. The customer can even provide their signature by signing their name on the device with their finger, plus have a copy of the receipt e-mailed to them. The software further lets the customer specify a tip account, if appropriate. The transaction rates are very competitive and there are currently no set-up fees. This is a really neat device and a very impressive innovation.

Cyber View Goes Green for Earth Day

Apr
20

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: News

20 April 2010
We are celebrating Earth Day by going green - both literally and figuratively. As you can see we've changed the blue in our logo to green.

Last year, for Earth Day 2009, we launched a resources page on our site for how small businesses could "go green" in the digital environment (http://www.cyberviewsites.com/green/). On the resources page, you will find tips ranging from reducing travel through virtual meetings to reducing power usage with your computers.

Also, in 2009 we made a pledge to reduce printing documents only when absolutely necessary. Rather than printing a document we now create PDF files of documents and keep and archive. This has proven to reduce printing expenses (both paper and ink). Furthermore, we implemented a method to keep a digital recovery back-up of our documents.

Also, we have a blog post from our SmallBiz SaaS network: http://www.cyberviewsites.com/blog/posts/?pid=28

Connect with us on Twitter, either @cyberview or @smallbizsaas to tell us what you are doing for Earth Day and to "go green" with your business.

Strengthening Alumni Connections

Apr
12

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

12 April 2010
Purdue Presidents Council Talent BankLast Spring the Purdue University President's Council (http://www.garofaloglobal.com/pctalentbank/) approached us and asked us to work on a project to help them strengthen the connection with Purdue alumni. The goal was to provide alumni with opportunities to give back to the University through methods besides financial, such as sharing their skills and expertise.

The idea for the President's Council Talent Bank was born. The concept was to provide Purdue faculty, staff, and students a method to "cast" alumni for volunteering roles needed. For example a professor teaching a senior design course could post an opportunity for alumni to volunteer to mentor students on their senior design projects. Another example would be a president of a student organization looking for an alum to be a keynote speaker at an organization dinner/banquet. The "opportunities" are endless through the variety of roles alumni can be cast.

Cyber View's content management system, CyberStudio, is running at the core of the Talent Bank to manage user accounts as well as the opportunities posted. Social media such as Twitter and Adobe Wave were utilized as a means to inform members when new volunteer opportunities have been posted and approved.Cyber View is proud to have worked on this project to help Boilermakers young and wise be able to connect through this on-line system.

FCC & Internet

Apr
8

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Technology

8 April 2010
The Associated Press published an article on April 6th 2010 entitled "FCC loses key ruling on Internet 'neutrality'" regarding a recent ruling by a federal court on whether or not the FCC can require Internet service providers to provide "equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks."

This is an interesting ruling since it now allows internet service providers to control the traffic usage across their networks and discriminate against specific web sites and content providers. Overall this ruling has put into question the FCC's ability to regulate broadband Internet.

For web designers / developers as well as content providers, this can have a tremendous impact in the coming months and years. Content that we create for our clients, such as building a web site for a local small business, could receive a lower priority going across an internet service provider's network, such as Comcast, AT&T or Verizon Communications. The end-result, in a worst case scenario, could be potential of visitors to web sites becoming frustrated because of the web site's speed. However the issue may not lie in the web site itself being slow, but rather how the visitor's internet service provider is delivering the web site over their network to the visitor.

On the other hand, "broadband providers such as Comcast, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. argue that after spending billions of dollars on their networks, they should be able to sell premium services and manage their systems to prevent certain applications from hogging capacity." Well, you decide.

Here is a link to the full article: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TEC_INTERNET_RULES?SITE=MOJOP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Archive of Preloaders

Apr
7

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Creative

7 April 2010
Just found a site created by BigSpaceship as a tribute and a collaboration of the dieing art form of web "preloaders," called PrettyLoaded (http://www.prettyloaded.com/). Back in the day of slower Internet connection speeds, preloaders were needed to keep a web visitor occupied will a multimedia application would load. Several were very boring, some were even downright confusing - not really sure how much was left to load - but we all were eager for the loader to reach 100% to then venture on to do what we desired with our visit to the site in the first place. PrettyLoaded is a collection of entertaining (and informative) preloaders that have been used over the years.

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Global Online Launch Event

Apr
6

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Technology

6 April 2010
Adobe has announced their global online launch event for Adobe Creative Suite 5 to be on April 12th. Be among the first to see the "game-changing" features coming with CS5. The even will last approximately 30 minutes.

Adobe CS5 Global Online Launch Event - Register Now

Register now at: http://cs5launch.adobe.com

Follow Adobe Creative Suite on Facebook and Twitter:
http://www.facebook.com/creativesuite/
http://www.twitter.com/creativesuite/

Cyber View is proud to be an Adobe Solution Partner and a member of the Adobe Partner Connection.

Have a 2-way conversation with your customers

Apr
2

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Strategy

2 April 2010
With the continual growth of "social media networks" such as Twitter and Facebook, new mediums of interacting with your customers are now available to business owners of all sizes. However many businesses are attempting to use the "old school" mentality of pushing out information to their customers using this new medium of social media networks. In this case they are missing the boat, to use a metaphor.

The real power with social media is the ability to engage your customers in a two-way conversation. You are able to receive feedback from your customers in real-time. All you have to do is monitor it. Now this doesn't mean that you have to be at your computer 24/7, but you do need to be listening. Tools have been developed, such as CoTweet (recently acquired by ExactTarget), which aid in monitoring the two-way conversations you are having with your customers. Through these conversations it is even possible to engage your most loyal customers as well as your most disgruntled customers.

Engage customers through FourSquare

Mar
31

Posted by Frank Garofalo | Topic: Technology

31 March 2010
First of all, what is FourSquare? Well its an on-line social media game that allows individuals to "check-in" to locations they visit using a mobile device (typically needing a data plan with web capabilities). This also provides the ability to keep your closest friends notified of where you are so, for example, you can meet up at a nearby coffee shop. In some ways, it also encourages individuals to get out an explore their communities to gain "badges" - which are awards for being a more active player in FourSquare.

So what does this mean for businesses? The individual who "checks-in" at a location the most frequent will become the FourSquare "Mayor" of that location. Businesses can register with FourSquare and offer discounts to whomever is the current mayor of their business.

For assistance of how to get your business connected with FourSquare and how to market this brand loyalty to your customers, contact us. This technology is quickly becoming a new popular means to interact through the Internet with your most loyal customers.

For more, read the NY Times article: "Foursquare Introduces New Tools for Businesses"

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