What’s more important for a business a website or a facebook page?

As a business I must admit that my social media advertising isn’t the best.  I don’t mean that in a negative way.  PCPrime has a website and this blog.  It also has a facebook page that I never update, a twitter account that is rarely used and a google plus page that I may not have setup all the way?

Social media, like many business buzzwords before it, can be looked at as a saving grace or as a fad.  Which one do you think it falls into?

For me I think it falls somewhere in the middle.  In terms of keeping your name out there it can help.  In terms of customer service I definitely receive better customer service as a consumer using twitter than I do from any other form of communication.

One can also get the viral effect.  In other words, word of mouth can spread fast.  Extremely fast.  The problem with that is not everything spreads as a viral campaign.  If you are not already known or you don’t catch that wave of sharing then how does one separate themselves from the rest of the pack?

For me, I think if a person is social in real life then they will be comfortable being social on the internet.  I believe the two are linked.  Several companies have come out and said that advertising on Facebook is a waste of money.   Facebook comes back and says it is because they are measuring click through rates and not brand awareness.  My distrust for facebook runs deep but I do agree with this statement.  I think that having your brand name out there and in front of the customer is very important but I don’t think it does anyone much good if you don’t have the positive word of mouth working for you.

A few weeks ago I responded to a Forbes post in where a young gentleman said he wouldn’t visit a facebook page unless one of three things happened.  Unsurprisingly all three things had the word “free” in it.  I’m all about open source and giving back but giving something away free can reduce the value of the service.  You don’t want to get in a price war you can’t win.  I’m not in the commodity business.

Back to the original question: which is more important? Website or facebook page?

I’ve seen a lot more businesses skipping the websites and going straight to a facebook page.  The content isn’t yours and you have to have a facebook account to view the page.  Why turn away potential clients by staying in a walled garden?

Websites are easy to put up and very reasonable these days.  I just wish more businesses would look at these concerns.  Certainly the answer to the question will be different for each business.  I for one would like to see more data.

SSI in web pages

SSI – Server Side Includes is a really nice thing!  I am in the process of updating my site.  I use dreamweaver and notepad++ to edit my site.  Which means that sometimes I am unable to use a template properly.  In this case, I edited some of the pages with notepad and didn’t realize it was part of the template.  During the process of editing I realized I had many small mistakes that needed to be corrected.  This left me with very few choices.

  • Redo the template and attach the pages to it again
  • Edit each page manually
  • Find something that is like a template

I found option 3 with a google search.  In fact, the site that worked the best for me was Easy Web Tutorials.com.  It lays it out very easily for me to understand.  In a nutshell, I can create another web page with the code on it and then call that page from another page.  This works great for headers, footers and menus.  Change 1 item and all the pages changed.  It says that the pages should use a special extension of either .shtml or .shtm.  However, it also says one can use .html or .htm if you edit the .htaccess file.  I chose this last option and added this line to my .htaccess file: “AddHandler server-parsed .html .htm”

This brings me to the part of how do I call this code in another webpage?  The first thing I tried was my footer.  So in this instance I would have to type in <!–#include virtual=”footer.html”–> where I wanted the code to go.  There is another way to use SSI which can include the output of a cgi script.

The article does state that not all hosting companies support server side but I think it is an apache function which means most do.

McDonald’s Monopoly website needs some work

I am going to use this space to call out McDonalds. Their website, www.playatmcd.com, has some major issues this year. I think I have only used the site twice out of 8 attempts.  Used 3 different browsers and multiple computers.  What is the problem you may ask?  It’s the frustrating login issues.   I can’t reset my password, I can’t get a reset email.  When I do get a reset email.  It doesn’t reset anything!  There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.  I’ve used Chrome, IE and Firefox to no avail.   Now that McDonald’s seems to be out of monopoly pieces around me, I guess I will try again next year.

The pain is reduced knowing that I can get a McRib again but that doesn’t go far enough.  I want a working site!  In fact, bring back the previous site with the Monopoly board that you went around.  I loved that.  I even took a survey explaining these issues.

What is Drupal?


I got a weekly email udpate from one of my Linkedin groups about free courses  for Linux, SQL, etc. being held at local clubs here in Austin.  That is exciting all by itself.

However, the most interesting part to me is this thing called Drupal that they are talking about.  I never even heard of the name before.  According to the site it is an open source content management system.  What does that mean?  I’m really not sure but further reading leads me to believe it is a system that you can use to create a website with databases.

It talks about using community modules and being able to create your own modules to create an dynamic site.

Like I need anymore stuff to learn. 🙂  I have several sites that I need to design and create.  I guess this is a good time to dip my toe into this and see how it works.