Tag Archives: selfassemblysites

SelfAssemblySites Relaunch

Hi folks,

You may have noticed that we've recently made all of SelfAssemblySites video training library and bonus downloads available to anyone who signs up for a free account.

Back in 2011 we launched the site with high hopes, but over the next 18 months we failed to achieve the traction we were looking for, and both Al and I eventually moved on to other projects.

Recently I was setting up a new server and decided to see if we could breath some new life into the old site. We had over 100 videos here and neither of us wanted to see them go to waste.

What we've done is remove some of the more powerful but complex systems we were using like our forum software and membership software - we've replaced them with simpler solutions like a private Facebook group and a free WordPress plugin respectively.

While making these changes it also highlighted for me just how much some technology has moved on.

We performed a content audit rating our videos as Evergreen, Note or Warn

Our 100+ videos were recorded 3-4 years ago and the appearance and functionality of some of the featured tools and websites has changed since then. Because of that we've done a content audit of our entire training library.

content-dated-note

We show a note like this on 43% of videos

The content audit revealed that 39% of our video content is "evergreen", i.e. needs no update, 43% of the video content "appears dated but no major changes in functionality", and 18% we classified as "out of date, principle or visuals have changed". (Even for these out of date videos, for the most part the general principles involved have not changed, so they're still useful.)

content-dated-warning

On 18% of videos we show this strong warning

Now that we've done the audit and marked content appropriately, for a limited time we're making everything available to anyone who registers a free account.

Over time we're planning to update the more crucial video content and then put everything behind a paywall for an amount tbd.

If you'd like to guarantee free lifetime access to the content, sign up for a free account now.

Thanks for checking out SelfAssemblySites, I hope you find it useful.

- Alastair.

Fire Phoenix by Sid Raphael on DeviantArt (CC)

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Choosing a Domain Name: Avoid the 5 Biggest Mistakes

Your domain name is one of your core points of branding and identity for your business or organisation on the web so it's well worth putting in even a little bit of time and thought in making a decision that you're mostly stuck with for years to come. These few pointers are to help you avoid some of the most common errors.

The Video, Choosing A Domain Name: Essentials to Consider, follows the tips.

Choosing the Wrong Suffix

DotCom (Image: sxc.hu)

Your choice of suffix or Top Level Domain (TLD) extension is key. Generally you can't go too far wrong with .com and to a lesser extent .net or .org, but be extremely wary of oddities like .cc and .co.com due to being uber cheap some of these are heavily associated with spammers and questionable practices. Read more about avoiding risky domain extensions here.

If you're a national business, country specific domains can add to that sense of nationality and locality eg. .fr for France, .co.uk for the UK, .ie for Ireland and so on. But buying .ie and attempting to attract audiences from elsewhere in the world could prove tricky as you're removing a level of trust or familiarity away from the visitor.

Here are some TLD's you may be less familiar with:

  • .com is the leading TLD, but all one word and most two words in the English language are already taken.
  • .biz was created as an alternative for businesses to .com, but is less commonly used these days.
  • .net was originally for networks only, but can be a good option if your .com is not available.
  • .me tend to only be suitable for sites about you, usually resume or CV sites.
  • .edu is restricted to educational institutions and links from these to your site are quite valuable.
  • .gov is similarly restricted but used by government entities in the USA.
  • .info usually indicates information sites, but Google are wary of it as many spammers used to use it .
  • .org is for organisations and often for non-profits and can be suitable if your .com is not available.
  • .mobi focuses on mobile ready or mobile only versions of websites.

Making it Difficult to Spell or Type

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Why You Still Need a Website Not Just a Facebook Page

One thing that we hear occasionally is "why do I need a website these days, can I not just use a Facebook page?". The simple answer is you can do what you like, but if you want to do well, you'd be best investing in a good website, and also having a Facebook page in your arsenal. Why do either when you can do both?

It should be clarified that this is not a Facebook bashing article, I actually quite like FB for social catch ups as well as for business growth and feedback, not to mention chuckling at witty comments and reminding me of birthdays. However context is everything.

Control & Scope

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Web News Round Up – 17th Feb

"More Accurate" Property of Xkcd.com

 

Apple App Store Logo

App Economy Creates Nearly 500k Jobs in US: Before the iPhone there was no app industry, but with the meteoric expansion of it and rival devices, the sector now employs in the region of half a million people in the United States alone.

Flexible Screens Have Arrived: C3Nano, a company that makes transparent, flexible screens has secured a round of funding worth $6.7, and is building relationships in Japan and Korea with giants such as Samsung. The technology boasts it's robust and cost effective. (Includes demo video)

StartUp May Save Businesses Fortunes in Legal Costs: Technology has limited, changed or destroyed many long established industries, now it might be the turn of the legal professions to take a battering, having to compete with technological solutions to some of its core business practices.

The World's Smallest 3D Printer (Video): What could you do with the world’s smallest 3D printer? At TEDxVienna Klaus Stadlmann demos his tiny, affordable printer that could someday make customized hearing aids or sculptures smaller than a human hair.

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Upstart vs Startup: What’s The Difference?

'Upstart Business' is a phrase that seems to be creeping into the journalistic language used on tech and entrepreneurial blogs in the US. The first time I heard it I thought the writer was simply playing with the normal term 'startup' to be witty and focus on a particularly ballsy and inspiring effort of a young entrepreneur. Then a week or two later I read it again elsewhere. This got me thinking: Was 'upstart' just a meme that one clever writer used once and then suddenly caught on with the blogging fraternity or is it now a well known and accepted term? More to the point does its origin matter and is it more important to ask which is better?

Googling the term, you get a myriad of results. Many are for business or consultancy related groups and services that use the 'upstart' interchangeably with 'startup'.

The online dictionary definitions which appear are all similar to this one:

n. A person of humble origin who attains sudden wealth, power, or importance, especially one made immodest or presumptuous by the change; a parvenu.

adj. 1. Suddenly raised to a position of consequence.
2. Self-important; presumptuous.

Reading between the lines in the tech blogs it appears that the difference is this; 'Startups' are entrepreneurial businesses that begin with external funding from venture capital from their inception. However, 'Upstart' businesses begin without significant external funding, just savings and personal loans from friends and family and usually the founders maintain all equity. This is in keeping with the upstart definition, springing from humble origins to wealth, rather than having lots of cash to play with before you have a customer.

A Big Upstart

Felix Dennis, Author of How to Get Rich (Image: BBC)

Felix Dennis, Author of How to Get Rich (Image: BBC)

Felix Dennis, author of the refreshingly direct, 'How to Get Rich', is very much in the upstart mould and believes a business owner should do everything in their power to hold on to the most equity possible. Each percentage of equity you manage to own, could be worth millions when you eventually sell your business. In one chapter he describes how two important employees at his magazine demanded a small share of the business or they'd start a rival publication.

He instantly called their bluff, fired them and wished them well in their new venture. Within a few years their business was bust and they were back working for him, no hard feelings. When he sold up and moved on, that tiny percentage they had demanded was worth millions; his baby, his millions. Dennis put it in uncompromising terms:

Talent is indispensable, although it is always replaceable.

Just remember the simple rules concerning talent:

Identify It, Hire It, Nurture It, Reward It, Protect It. And when the time comes, Fire It.

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Web News Round Up – 10th Feb

The Oatmeal - What I want from a restaurant website (click to view full image)

The Oatmeal - What I want from a restaurant website (click to view full image)

Image by Carrot Creative

Twitter is More Addictive than Nicotine: People are more likely to give in to the urge to tweet or check email than other cravings a US study has found, making it more addictive than both alcohol and cigarettes. Could it just be that twitter isn't as obviously costly or damaging to your health?

Beijing Micro Bloggers Must Use Real Name or Be Banned: The Chinese government says all microbloggers in Beijing must post under their real names by March 16 or they'll be banned from the service. The move from the Chinese government is the latest in a series of ways they want to monitor and curtail social media activity in their country.

When the SuperBowl Bored Americans, They Opened Apps: At the less captivating moments of this year's Super Bowl audiences turned to their second screens, you can see clearly which ads and which game play were captivating and hit the mark and which fumbled and dropped the ball.

YouTube Expands Channels Initiative: Last October, Google announced it would begin rolling out over 100 new channels featuring original programming across YouTube, turning the site focus from one-off videos into a major online content destination, two new automotive channels are its latest offering.

 

 

 

 

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Friday Shorts 6th Jan

Copyright of Xkcd.com

Copyright Xkcd.com

MIT To Give Free Education to All: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced they will launch an online learning initiative called MITx, offering MIT courses to anyone in the world free of charge. MITx will not allow students to earn a degree but those who demonstrate a mastery of their subject can attain a certificate of completion.

 The Pros and Cons of Google+ For Small Business:  Mashables surveys many of it's small business contributors and rounds up their responses in 7 for and 7 against using Google Plus.

30 Social Media Predictions for 2012 From the Pros: A host of Social Media experts and pioneers give their predictions for the changes and developments on their way this year. Let's see how many come to pass.

5 Reasons Online Video is So Persuasive: What Makes Them Click!? Find out with insights from the psychologist as to why online video is so captivating to audiences.

We love to hear your thoughts, so please leave us some comments!

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Friday 28th December Short Shorts

Copyright of Gary Larson, The Far Side

Copyright of Gary Larson, The Far Side

 

4 Must Have Elements to Designing a Profiltable Deal

Click to View Full Size

Formula for a Profitable Groupon Deal: (See right) So many businesses have been crippled by not fully thinking out their discount deal. This awesome info graphic should steer any would be Deal-maker into safer and more profitable territory.

Top 10 Reasons Why Venture Capital Backed Companies Fail: VC expert Eric Jackson writes for Forbes about his own experiences and observations on the core factors why some VC backed Startups fail.

Superbowl to be Streamed Live to US Mobile Phones: The biggest sporting event in the US is to be officially streamed live by NBC for the first time to be viewable on computers and mobile devices.

The Neurons that Shaped Human Civilisation: In this TED video, neurologist VS Ramachandran explains Mirror Neurons, neurological firings that allow us to imitate and empathise with people and behaviours around us that sculpted human development and may be the bridge between science and the humanities.

 

 

 

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Friday Shorts 21st December

How to Rob a Snowman

How to Rob a Snowman

  • Top 10 Reasons Why Large Companies Lose Their Top Talent: Why large, established and often innovative companies have golden opportunities to keep their top talent but don't.
  • GoDaddy's Spammy Link Building Techniques: The great WordPress SEO expert, Yoast, investigates some of GoDaddy's questionable tactics for ranking for many of their keyword targets, often at the expense of their customers.
  • Watch Out Santa

    Watch Out Santa

  • LoveFilm Signs Streaming Deal with Sony Pictures Television: New deal allows Amazon's LoveFilm to stream titles such as the Social Network and Salt as it increases it's battle with key rival Netflix.
  • Viktor E Frankl: Why To Believe In Others: Holocaust survivor, psychologist and best-selling author of Man's Search for Meaning, Frankl delivers a powerful message of why we should start from an optimistic perspective. Human at its core, its a very appropriate message of goodwill toward man for this time of year!
  • Happy Christmas & Good Will toward you and yours! From Alistair and Alastair at SelfAssemblySites

     

     

     

     

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    SelfAssemblySites News Update November 2011

    Here's an update for November to let you know what changes and improvements we've made around the site - and what's coming next - as well as a taster of the website training videos we've produced or have in production. Please give us your thoughts and suggestions on anything you think could make the site better for you!

    We're continuously shooting more videos for you - here's a list of recently completed screencasts:

    And recently completed Expert Answers videos:

    On the way over the next few weeks:

    • Show/Hide Content On A Page
    • Installing A Picture Gallery
    • List of Recommended Plugins
    • Ecommerce Plugin Overview
    • Backup Plugin Setup
    • Yoast SEO Plugin Setup
    • Westhost Hosting Setup

    We've also made some improvements to the website itself since our last update:

    • Completed our site move to faster hosting
    • Made improvements to code and images to optimise page load times
    • Design improvements on the Members Dashboard

    Site improvements we will making over the next few weeks :

    • Improving the layout of the category pages (e.g. http://www.selfassemblysites.com/cat...dating-content ) - to differentiate between video pages and blog posts
    • Tidy up how Tags appear (on all pages)
    • Add blog specific sidebar for blog listing page
    • Add a new custom field to the videos which will tell you "How this particular video benefits you" (we're working on figuring out a better way to word that, it's a bit clunky, but we want to make it really obvious what result you will get from watching any given video)
    • Reviewing the plugins we use on the site currently, ensuring we have everything we want installed

    We will update this community forum thread regularly - feel free to add your suggestions and comments!

    Thanks,
    Alastair.

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