Tag Archives: Reviews

Companion Link Solved the Google Calendar Sync Problem

Companion Link to Link Your Calendar to All Devices.
Companion Link to Link Your Calendar to All Devices.

I have been a long time user of Google Calendar Sync, using it to keep my Outlook calendar the same on my smartphone, main work computer, my laptop, and my home computer. I have looked at alternative products over the years but was not ready to make a jump. That is until Google said August 1 they would simply be turning off Google Calendar Sync.

Mid July, I tested the product I had looked at the most and have ended up buying it. That product is Companion Link. It is important to know that I am just a user, I am not paid or receive ANY compensation for my review or comments from the company. I just wanted to share my thoughts as to why I like their product. I chose to not use Google Apps for business as I really did not want Google in my MX record for my email. They own too much of me and I simply did not want them to have access to my mail too.

I found Companion Link easy to use but one word to the wise, make a full backup of your contacts and calendar before you start the software. I did not and ended up having to clean up some duplicate entries. I would also recommend that you utilize the wipe Google function before starting the sync as doing that would have stopped me from having duplicates.

It is always hairy trusting a new product with your calendar and contacts. I’ve had issues before when I first set up Google Calendar Sync, so it is hard to try a new product and trust that it won’t clobber your calendar and contacts. (Backup, backup, backup is key to peace of mind.)

What I really liked about Companion Link is that it allowed me to sync my Google Family calendar to one computer, my work calendar to another, and both to my smartphone. I am in control!

If you are looking to solve a similar problem, you may want to possibly consider this application, I like it and recommend it to you.

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Pocket – a Cool App That Allows You To Read Later

Don't let your pockets be empty! GetPocket helps you be productive.
Don’t let your pockets be empty! GetPocket helps you be productive.

Brian Shea of Seven Sages turned me on to this very cool app that you should check out, it is called GetPocket. Here’s what GetPocket is and what it can do.

Pocket allows you to save to read later any article or web page. By saving something of interest to your own Pocket account, you can read it on your phone, on your tablet, or on your desktop. You don’t even have to be online to be able to read the content!

To get started visit www.GetPocket.com. Chrome makes it easy to add a GetPocket app that sits in your browser top menu. IE makes it a little more difficult but follow these instructions and add it to your Favorites Bar. In this case you right click the orange button and then save to Favorites and then in the open list Favorites bar.

You can sort your links, delete them, and favorite them. You can add articles, videos, links whatever you want. Visit Google Play or the Apple Store to get the free smartphone app that expands it use tremendously.

For me, this is a fabulous tool as it takes everything that I want to read later and allows me to be more productive on the go. So often I find cool things or articles I want to read later to blog about and I have been saving them in Outlook for Saturday reading. But I have to be sitting at my computer to re-read them. Now, I can sign into GetPocket.com and read my articles sitting at the dentist waiting on kids or when I have a free moment out and about.

Thanks Brian, for letting me know about this very cool and helpful app/tool!

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Create a Mobile Site With This Plug-In

The future for web traffic is in mobile and tablets. I don’t think anyone in my industry could disagree. Based on a growing use of handheld tools to access the Internet, now there’s an easy to use WordPress plug-in that takes your WordPress website or blog and makes it instantly mobile-friendly.

Introducing WP-Touch, this plug-in takes your blog and converts it based on a mobile stylesheet into the perfect readable option for smartphones or tablets. There are nice configuration options for the display to iPad users, but once installed smartphone users can still opt to see your blog the desktop way or the smart mobile way. To the right you can see a screenshot of what a smartphone user will see when they visit your blog once the plug-in is installed. The posts are now set up by date, comment and share counts are noted and there is a link to view the full blog post. At the very bottom of the screen your reader can toggle to see the blog or website the regular desktop application way.

This WordPress plug-in is a smart and easy way to make sure that you are mobile-friendly. Check it out by visiting the plug-in author’s page.

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CoffeeCup Sitemap Builder a Great Little Tool

I love CoffeCup’s Sitemapper and wanted to share my personal unpaid review on this product with you. This is an easy to use and highly configurable application. I routinely use it to rebuild my own Google sitemaps and those for clients.

With a low cost of only $39 and the ability to do a free trial, this is one application that every webmaster should have or at least check out. Screen shot of the Sitemapper. With Sitemapper, you can scan your files two ways, you can scan from a web URL or you can scan your local files. Once set up, you let the application run and it will create a compliant XML site map automatically. But before you even generate the final sitemap, Sitemapper provides a visual file tree allowing you to delete files and file types.

With configurable options such as setting the update frequency for Googlebot and the page priority, I think that you’ll find this an excellent application and well worth the small price. I particularly like the error tracking feature that allows me to know what broken links I have that will generate a 404 page from pages in my sitemap.

In fact, I’ve just finished scanning a 3,500 page site and have about 50 links to review to clean up my new sitemap. It’s a great time saving assist! Although I don’t use this feature, you can even connect the application to your Google Webmaster Control Panel for a quick upload. I prefer to review my sitemap personally and then load it to my server root via FTP.

I think that you’ll like this nifty application, I find it indispensable for my own personal needs and a real help for my customers especially those with large websites.

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Is a Competitor Trying to Smear Your Reputation Online?

I came across this article this past week in the Wall Street Journal that talks about how to deal with competitors unfairly targeting you and making an effort to erode your reputation online with forum posts. You can read the full article here.

Unfair reviews can hurt.Although I have not been a victim to this type of attack by a competitor, I have been the victim of an attack by a prospect who I turned down for a working relationship. This person wanted to buy our blogging services to boost search engine placement, but I found his business had so many customer complaints that I told him we were not a good match for his needs. Unfortunately I mentioned the number of negative reviews he had at epinions as the reason, and he retaliated by posting negative reviews about my firm online at several scam alert sites.

The Journal talks about forums and what to do and for any business that has been targeted, it is worth a quick read. Just be aware, that once a review is out there on a forum, you may have a chance to have it removed. If the review appears at City Search, Google Local, Yelp, or an scam review website, you’ll never be able to get that review taken down. It is just a hard cold fact – no matter how hard you push, those types of reviews will stay up.

I recommend when possible that you write a new rebuttal and if you can re-mediate the incident try to do so. If you cannot re-mediate something, as in my case, post your rebuttal, be honest on your own website about what happened and work to build more positive reviews and more forward.

I have personally given up on trying to move that unfair characterization of my business from the search results after trying many tactics to push the review down. Yes, these types of reviews and posting are unfair, but a reality in today’s connected world.

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Dealing with Negative Reviews in a Good Way

Anyone who has been in business for a while has certainly had a bad review at some point or another. The review may have been warranted or may have been unfair. What really doesn’t matter is if the review is true, but how you handle it.

Here are two excellent articles to check out for two different ways to handle negative reviews:

The Startling Secret to Getting Positive Reviews for Your Business

Three Tips to Handle Online Negative Publicity

Both articles are easy and fast reading. Here are my tips to add to the topic:

  1. Don’t respond immediately to a review when you are upset or angry. This will do more harm than good.
  2. Think about if the review has some truth. Do you need to change what you are doing to be better?
  3. Decide if you have to respond at all. This is a hard one, sometimes to rise graciously above a bad review is the best path and in other cases to address it head-on is better. Chat with some other business owners you trust to help you decide based on your situation and the review.

Actively start working on a regular basis to get good reviews and post them on your website. You want to make sure that there is a balance of reviews about your business online. Posting good reviews on your website is a great way to start.

I never recommend creating fake reviews. This can get you in more trouble than you need. If you are having trouble getting reviews, try a third party service who will contact your customers for you and even help them write the review about your firm.

If you do get a negative review, address, deal with it, and put it behind you. It is important to realize that you will not be able to please or service every person to their own satisfaction over the years you are in business. Do the best you can, and keep a mind-set of excellence in all you do.

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