Posts Tagged:Today

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.


How to start

Quite a few years ago I found myself in a situation where I wanted to start my own business. I was sick of working at the places I was working at, and I wanted to get out on my own. Problem was… I had no idea what that was. I didn’t have any obvious breakout ideas. The experimental ideas I did have seemed impossible to market, as in, I had no idea how to sell anything. The thought occurred to me to try to raise money to build something, but I didn’t even know where to begin.It was an awful unmotivating place to be.My daughter, Addison, turned 3 this week. How on earth have these 3 years gone by?If you know toddlers at all, you can imagine the types of games we’re playing. Lots and lots of pretend. She’s often “the teacher” and I have to be the student. A baby student. Complete…

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The Business Cycle, Part 1

Illustration by Nate OttoWorksman Cycles is the oldest American bicycle manufacturer that still makes its products in the U.S. Founded in New York in 1898, Worksman has outlasted the demise of American cycle manufacturing by focusing on a niche category: heavy duty tricycles that factory workers use for hauling equipment and getting around industrial plants. And Worksman’s president is determined to keep the company in the U.S., even as that commitment has been tested through the years.https://medium.com/media/ac5945721e9fa882ea3a72e9e9b5a656/hrefThis is the first of a two-parter about Worksman. The next episode will be out in two weeks, so make sure you’re subscribed to The Distance via Apple Podcasts (nee iTunes Podcasts) or the podcatcher of your choice so you don’t miss it!TranscriptWAILIN WONG: There are times when a name seems like destiny. Like Thomas Crapper, a famous English plumber from the 19th century, or Usain Bolt, the Olympic sprinter from Jamaica. These names are called aptonyms,…

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Copywriting Q&A: How to Deal with a Difficult Designer

A designer is a copywriter’s partner in creative work. When that relationship is good, the work is golden. But when that relationship is not as good, the work can suffer and job satisfaction plummets. Today, let’s talk about what to do when that relationship is strained. Read on… Today’s question comes from Elyse H., who asks, “There’s a new designer at work that I’ve had a few projects with, and things just aren’t going well. He makes changes without telling me, and presents work without me there. It’s making me crazy. What can I do?” The first thing to know is that most designers who do things like this—leaving you out of meetings, changing your copy, etc.—aren’t out to get you. They just don’t know that it’s a problem. When you’re experiencing these kinds of problems, the first thing is to simply and clearly address them. Don’t say things like,…

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6 Reasons Working Moms Make Good Workers

As of 2010, Women comprised 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force and are projected to account for 51 percent of the increase in total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018. (United States Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau) And according to a Pew Research Center survey, half of U.S. homes today include a full-time working mother. While there are more working moms in the workforce than ever before, old-fashioned stigmas remain that working moms are not as productive as women without kids and/or men in general. The reality is what makes us good moms also makes us good workers. We are just as ambitious, dedicated, and motivated as our peers. The difference is when others are hanging up their hats, we are just starting our second full-time job. 1. We Are Chief Multi-Taskers Have you ever taken a client call, while holding your baby with one hand, and…

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Friduction: the internet's unstoppable drive to eliminate friction

There is one significant trend that I have noticed over and over again: the internet’s continuous drive to mitigate friction in user experiences and business models. Since the internet’s commercial debut in the early 90s, it has captured success and upset the established order by eliminating unnecessary middlemen. Book stores, photo shops, travel agents, stock brokers, bank tellers and music stores are just a few examples of the kinds of middlemen who have been eliminated by their online counterparts. The act of buying books, printing photos or booking flights online alleviates the friction felt by consumers who must stand in line or wait on hold to speak to a customer service representative. Rather than negatively describing this evolution as disintermediation or taking something away, I believe there is value in recognizing that the internet is constantly improving customer experiences by reducing friction from systems — a process I like to…

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Drupal GovCon Session Submissions Close May 22, 2017!

We know you have great ideas and information to share. People from every level of government, nonprofit organizations, private companies, labor unions, and independent freelancers are drawn to Drupal GovCon. Make sure you share that knowledge! Check out the proposed sessions and then submit your session! Session Submission Deadline is May 22, 2017! Submit your session today! Source: https://groups.drupal.org/node/512931/feed

4 PPC Ad Extensions You Should Be Using Today by @LisaRocksSEM

Maximize your SERP visibility by using Structured Snippets, Affiliate Location Extensions, Price Extensions, and Call Extensions.The post 4 PPC Ad Extensions You Should Be Using Today by @LisaRocksSEM appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/feed/

Launch: Our Knowledge Center!

I’ve always believed that getting to know your company better requires more than using a piece of software alone. Yes, Know Your Company has been helpful to thousands of people all over the world…But if you want to foster a sustainable culture of feedback within your team, you have to change how you do things day in, day out. You have to shift your mindset. You have to practice a methodology.We’ve spent the past three years developing that methodology. And finally, we created a resource to share it with you.Today, we’re launching our brand new Knowledge Center — a place for every employee, manager and CEO to learn our methodology on how to cultivate open, honest workplace environments.Based on insights and data we’ve collected from over 15,000 employees at hundreds of companies in 25 countries, we’ve distilled all our learnings into 21 chapters I’ve written for our Knowledge Center.These chapters are organized into six…

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Simplifying CSS Cubes with Custom Properties

I know there are a ton of pure CSS cube tutorials out there. I’ve done a few myself. But for mid-2017, when CSS Custom Properties are supported in all major desktop browsers, they all feel… outdated and very WET. I thought I should do something to fix this problem, so this article was born. It’s going to show you the most efficient path towards building a CSS cube that’s possible today, while also explaining what common, but less than ideal cube coding patterns you should steer clear of. So let’s get started! HTML structure The HTML structure is the following: a .cube element with .cube__face children (6 of them). We’re using Haml so that we write the least amount of code possible: .cube – 6.times do .cube__face We’re not using .front, .back and classes like that. They’re not useful because they bloat the code and make it less logical. Instead,…

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11 ways to get feedback from your most introverted employee

I’m an introvert. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them this (I do a lot of public speaking for an introvert 😳), but I am an introvert through-and-through. When I need to recharge, I seek alone time as opposed to being around a group people.As an introvert, I also tend to avoid questions that seem overly personal or require long, drawn-out answers. Honestly, it can feel draining to divulge so much of myself and talk all the time.Early in my career, I remember how this played out at work: My boss at the time would ask me for feedback about the company… And I struggled to answer his questions candidly. As introvert, I never felt comfortable being 100% transparent with him about what I thought could be better in the company.I’m embarrassed thinking back on what was probably viewed as avoidant, disengaged behavior. It’s not that I didn’t want to be…

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Think beyond with Acquia Labs

For most of the history of the web, the website has been the primary means of consuming content. These days, however, with the introduction of new channels each day, the website is increasingly the bare minimum. Digital experiences can mean anything from connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, smartphones, chatbots, augmented and virtual reality headsets, and even so-called zero user interfaces which lack the traditional interaction patterns we’re used to. More and more, brands are trying to reach customers through browserless experiences and push-, not pull-based, content — often by not accessing the website at all. Last year, we launched a new initiative called Acquia Labs, our research and innovation lab, part of the Office of the CTO. Acquia Labs aims to link together the new realities in our market, our customers’ needs in coming years, and the goals of Acquia’s products and open-source efforts in the long term. In…

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“Write drunk; edit sober”

A quote often (and probably inaccurately) attributed to Ernest Hemingway. And if you take the quote too literally, you’ll miss the power of what it teaches.We have at least two sides when it comes to creating something.On one, we see endless possibility. We can create anything our minds conjure. The muses are everywhere.On the other, our brains are great at tearing down all the bullshit, and finding the kernels of what’s efficient. What’s practical. What’s actually good. And that side often doesn’t like what it sees of the other.When I create, I try to take “Hemingway’s” advice.To begin something I want to create, a blog post, a software feature, a YouTube episode, I’ll start from a thread of optimism. A motivating book. A TED talk that has me inspired to teach. A workout where I was able to push just a little further than last time.I hype myself up to get closer to…

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What did you learn at work today?

Automatic check-ins is one of my favorite features in the new Basecamp 3. We have a bunch of them. Some social, like What are you reading? or What did you do this weekend?, others practical, like What will you be working on this week?The magic of these check-ins is two-fold. First, it almost completes nixes the need for those awful status meetings. Second, it allows everyone to keep a diary of their thoughts, interests, and work.Before Basecamp, I worked at a few other tech companies where I went to an office and worked with colleagues in-person. I knew most of those coworkers far less well than I do the ones I work remotely with at Basecamp. And these check-ins (and our manual hodpodge before making it a feature in Basecamp) are a key reason.I also really enjoy the check-ins as a personal practice to review my week and how I end up spending…

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Zen and the Art of Legacy Web App Maintenance

Before we jump into the nerdy bits here, let’s take a moment to honor the true thinker of Zen, author Robert M. Pirsig, who passed away April 24th, 2017. Quality . . . you know what it is, yet you don’t know what it is. But that’s self-contradictory. But some things are better than others, that is, they have more quality. But when you try to say what the quality is, apart from the things that have it, it all goes poof! — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance We make a lot of websites and web apps here at Viget. And since we don’t like to hand off our work and tell clients to get lost, we’ve found ourselves maintaining a decent amount of large codebases over the years. While the mere uttering of the words “legacy code” can send developers running for the hills,…

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The Issue with Preprocessing CSS Custom Properties

CSS has Custom Properties now. We’ve written about them a bunch lately. Browser support is good, but of course, old non-evergreen browsers like Internet Explorer don’t have them and never will. I can see the appeal of authoring with “future CSS”, and letting a preprocessor backport it to CSS that is compatible with older browsers. Babel for CSS! Why not?! It makes me nervous though – because it’s only some use cases of Custom Properties that you can preprocess. There are plenty of situations where what you are doing with a Custom Property just isn’t possible to preprocesses. So if you do, you’re putting yourself in a pretty weird situation. If you’re in a situation where you can preprocess them and get what you expect, you probably should have just used preprocessor variables. Preprocessors can’t understand the DOM structure It isn’t until “runtime” when a complete DOM is constructed that…

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One build tool to rule them all—Blendid!

Introducing Blendid!—the culmination of over three years of steady progress and community contributions in pursuit of the perfect front-end toolset. It’s a stand-alone blend of fully configurable tasks packaged into a full-featured modern asset pipeline. Blendid combines and configures the best build tools so you don’t have to. It can be used out of the box with zero configuration as a static site builder, or can be easily configured for any platform. At Viget, we’ve used Blendid on production Rails, Django, Craft, Laravel, and React projects, to name a few. # Install yarn add blendid # Generate config and starter files yarn add blendid — init # Profit! yarn run blendid Live Development. Fast builds. yarn run blendid No one should have to suffer through hitting save, waiting 30 seconds for your code to recompile, then hitting refresh in your browser to see it, or worse yet, manually running a…

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Marketing Design — How we improved our conversion rate at Highrise

Originally Highrise was built for Jason and David, the founders of Basecamp, who had trouble staying on top of who was talking to the lawyer, who needed to follow up with the landlord, what was said to the reporter, etc.But do our customers look like Jason and David?Maybe they did originally but things changed over the last decade Highrise has been in business? Is that still our reason for existing? So we recently did a series of Jobs-to-be-Done interviews to understand who uses Highrise at a deeper level.The results were clarifying.Our interviews uncovered that Highrise was now in the hands of a very different group of people with very different needs. It’s less about “Contacts” and more about “Leads” someone needs to get into a sales process. It’s less about “Todos” and “Tasks” and more about “I need a reminder to follow-up with this lead in a few weeks.” But that’s just…

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Facebook Ads Case Study: How This Digital Product Got a 4X Lifetime ROI

Do you sell a digital product? Whether it’s a book, software, or course, digital products are always a lot easier to sell in theory than in reality. Selling a digital product is difficult, and there is a lot of competition on Facebook’s advertising ecosystem. However, as experience has taught us time and time again, with the right strategy, brands can get it right. Today, we are focusing on Mastin Labs, a photography software company that sells Lightroom presets that emulate film. They are long-time AdEspresso customers (almost 3 years!), and they’ve succeeded. Success wasn’t gained from any singular ad, but rather, their overall Facebook marketing and advertising strategy. With a consistent 4X lifetime return on their ads, they have something valuable to teach. Mastin Labs, started by Kirk Mastin, was born from a passion for film photography. The goal of Mastin Labs is not to replace film, but to rather…

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Facebook Ads Case Study: How This Digital Product Got a 4X Lifetime ROI

Do you sell a digital product? Whether it’s a book, software, or course, digital products are always a lot easier to sell in theory than in reality. Selling a digital product is difficult, and there is a lot of competition on Facebook’s advertising ecosystem. However, as experience has taught us time and time again, with the right strategy, brands can get it right. Today, we are focusing on Mastin Labs, a photography software company that sells Lightroom presets that emulate film. They are long-time AdEspresso customers (almost 3 years!), and they’ve succeeded. Success wasn’t gained from any singular ad, but rather, their overall Facebook marketing and advertising strategy. With a consistent 4X lifetime return on their ads, they have something valuable to teach. Mastin Labs, started by Kirk Mastin, was born from a passion for film photography. The goal of Mastin Labs is not to replace film, but to rather…

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