Archive for the ‘Web 2.0’ Category

“Why Your Website Most Likely Needs a Privacy Policy and What Must Be In It” by Doug Bend

May 4th, 2011

We have a guest blogger, Doug Bend, of “The Law Office of Doug Bend”, with some very important advice that is often overlooked.

 

The California Online Privacy Protection Act requires a website to “conspicuously post” a privacy policy if it “collects and maintains personally identifiable information from a consumer residing in California.”

“Personally identifiable information” is defined very broadly to include a first and last name, a physical address, an e-mail address, a telephone number, or any other information that permits the contact of an individual.  So, even if you are not selling a product, your website will need a privacy policy if visitors can submit their e-mail addresses to receive news and updates from you.

If a privacy policy is required, it must contain five items:

  1. Information Collected – The categories of personal information the website collects.
  2. The categories of third-parties with whom the company shares the information.
  3. How the consumer can review and request changes to their information collected by the company.
  4. How the company notifies consumers of material changes to its privacy policy.
  5. The effective date of the privacy policy.

If you are required to have a privacy policy, it must be “conspicuously posted.”  The policy is conspicuously posted if it:

  1. Appears on the homepage of your website – usually not an aesthetically pleasant option.
  2. The website can have an icon on the home page that contains the word “privacy” – not a bad option.
  3. The most popular option is to have a link at the bottom of the homepage that contains the words “Privacy Policy.”

Under the California Unfair Competition Law, website operators who do not comply with the California Online Privacy Protection Act could be sued by the California Attorney General, District Attorneys, County Counsel, or City Attorneys for ”unfair competition.”

Privacy policies vary depending on how the website collects and uses consumer information, but a good example is the privacy policy for Modify Watches, which can be viewed here.

The key is to not only make sure the privacy policy complies with the law, but to also have the policy be easy to understand so visitors do not get frustrated with legalese when trying to determine how their personal information is being collected and used by your website.

Disclaimer: This post discusses general legal issues, but it does not constitute legal advice in any respect.  No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Doug Bend expressly disclaims all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this post.

This blog was originally published on www.bendlawoffice.com and re-published with permisson from its author, Doug Bend.

Did Astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo Predict This Overwhelming Response to Her New Website?

February 18th, 2011

We know we’re good at what we do, and we were delighted by the increased site traffic to the newly launched 2.0 website we developed, designed, and optimized for renowned San Francisco-based Astrologer and Intuitive Counselor, Jessica Lanyadoo. The site had been stagnant for 5 years and since we built her site in Squarespace, she can now easily publish announcements and make updates herself.

What’s a website worth without site visitors? LoveLanyadoo.com numbers speak for themselves. We officially launched Jessica’s optimized website on January 4, 2011. Stats for launch week started at 862 views, and by the end of the month, traffic more than quadrupled. The search engine robots were catching on, also quadrupling in crawls by the end of the month. In its launch month, Jessica’s site accumulated over 4,000 views and 1,530 robot crawls with numbers increasing each week.

Optimizing the site for search engines had already been proven effective but at its fifth week, numbers multiplied by another 2.5! Jessica’s site has received over 10,000 page views and 3,000 robots hits.

Her Weekly Horoscope, Psychic Dream Astrology, once only available on San Francisco Bay Guardian’s website without an option to RSS or subscribe to Jessica’s column, now also lives at lovelanyadoo.com and allows her fans to get her weekly horoscopes delivered to their RSS of choice. Since January 16, she has received 26+ subscribers every single day, averaging 31 unique daily subscribers.

While we hope to refer business through this blog, we may have already done our duty with website design and search engine optimization. “I was overwhelmed the first month with almost 100 applications for new clients from my website. I am pretty much booked solid through July!” said Jessica Lanyadoo.

“If Muttville.org were a country, it would be larger than Vatican City” – Sharenator.com

February 14th, 2011

Sharenator.com recently evaluated the website of our client, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. Back in 2009, Switchblade revamped their website into a modern, optimized 2.0 presence, and then developed a smooth running social media system that just hit over 1000 Twitter followers and over 2000 Facebook fans.

According to the stats provided by Sharenator.com, 1 in ever 1,111,111 internet uses visits www.muttville.org daily. That’s about 1500 daily visitors. And they also offered this amusing visualization:

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, rescue, and provide homes for senior dogs over 7 years old. See what all the buzz is about! Visit www.muttville.org

Good Website Designers Doing Good for Waghearted 2.0 Site

May 3rd, 2010

We’re excited to announce the launch of Waghearted.com featuring a vibrant line of pet safe, socially conscious, designer clothes for your favorite four legged friends!

The Situation: A new line of pet safe, socially conscious, designer clothes for dogs were being prepared for mass production and distribution. Team Waghearted knew that they not only wanted to keep their Twitter followers and Facebook fans updated with newly designed products but they wanted to share great stories of good dogs doing good. The site needed to exude the love and energy that is Waghearted and be easy to update.

Switchblade Solution: Design a site that incorporates the core product line icons, a CMS that is easy to update/manage by the client, and 2.0 optimization.

The Results: A vibrant, interactive site complete with a blog and both “follow our profiles” and “share” links! Wonderfully fun accents that liven the site even on a limited budget – Notice the scrolling text and slideshow on the landing page; the mouse-over textual descriptions and on-click pop-up pictures on the product page; and the Twitter feed on all pages

What we learned from this experience: There were many potential design images associated with the product line. We were able to narrow down the images by incorporating icons onto the static portions whilst still providing a feature area to highlight seasonally changing products. Furthermore, the social network profiles have played a significant role in driving traffic and vice versa, the prominently placed icons to follow Waghearted have increased fans/followers thereto.

MineTheMovie.com Goes 2.0 in Preparation for DVD Sales and Rentals

April 19th, 2010

The Situation: Independent filmmaker requires a living, breathing online marketing tool that promotes DVD sales and rentals for the award-winning documentary about displaced animals from Hurricane Katrina.  The site needed to be branded consistently with the DVD and more importantly, easy to update with breaking news and updates to eliminate ongoing web maintenance fees

Switchblade Solution: A professionally updated website built in SquareSpace that promotes the sales and rentals of the DVD version of the movie.

The Results: A well-organized site that can be constantly refreshed because the content management system utilized is user-friendly for the site owner.

What we learned from this experience: We <3 SquareSpace for its easy to use interface and allowing us to customize many of the site’s elements without tinkering with the CSS code.

Be a Better “Tweeter” Now

April 19th, 2010

If you’re using Twitter and not finding the results you were hoping for, optimize your profile with these 10 to-the-point, actionable steps:

•    Consider changing the placement and increasing the size of the social network profile buttons on your website
•    Add a link to your Twitter profile on all marketing collateral including your email signature (ask your staff to do so also) – WiseStamp.com helps to professionally display all your social media profiles
•    Join directories like wefollow.com, justtweetit.com, twellow.com, geofollow.com and tweetfind.com
•    Follow relevant organizations and possibly their followers, or whomever they’re following
•    Develop a schedule/grid of tweet topics to be executed throughout the week (i.e. event announcements on Monday at 2p, notes from the CEO on Tuesday at 11a, inspiration quotes on Wednesdays at 9a, industry statistics on Thursday at 10a, etc)
•    Create a bank of tweets, information that can be released throughout the week (don’t underestimate the time it takes to find relevant content!)
•    Consider originating tweets from Twitter versus another catchall program so that the tweets are not cut short (140 characters)
•    Engage in Twitter conversations by retweeting relevant posts, @md311.phpwebhosting.com mentioning/responding to others’ tweets
•    Comment on trending topics when applicable, locally or worldwide; highlight associates/organizations on #FollowFriday
•    Personalize the profile with a photo of an actual person as the profile picture, or an event with people as the background; don’t forget to allow a little personality to show in your tweets with mantras, mottos or pictures of every day life

Doggie Boogie Movie Website Launched by Switchblade Creative Studios, Inc.

February 5th, 2010
A website “case study” sounds boring.  How about “see how fun and professional come together on a website about a family movie featuring dog dancing, filmed in San Francisco“?  Hmmm, too long.  123 characters + bit.ly… it’ll work.  We’ll stick with that.
Doggie Boogie Movie Website
The Situation: Independent filmmaker requires an effective yet evolving online presence that creates buzz from production through release. The producers wanted to showcase the concept to sponsors, investors, partners, cast and crew to raise capital, as well as excitement and participation.

Switchblade Solution: A professionally updated website thoroughly injected with promise that the film will be successfully produced and distributed.

The Results: A site that captures the wit, inspiration and character of the film.

What we learned from this experience: Professionalism need not be sacrificed when producing/promoting a quirky product.  A product website and its associated social media profiles must exude a common theme, perspective and relate to its intended audience.

Happy holidays!

December 14th, 2009
Holiday greetings from Switchblade - Web 2.0 Design

Holiday greetings from Switchblade - Web 2.0 Design