Tendenci Continues to Win and Retain Business Clients

Tendenci’s growth makes it a great value for businesses focused on security and ease of use in a very robust open source project.

It is true that Tendenci is a very large open source project focused on the NPO sector, but value is value and businesses love Tendenci as well. How big is Tendenci? Login to the demo site to see for yourself at https://demo.tendenci.com (please remember the demo site resets every hour for spam prevention).

So it’s great to see all of these clients utilizing Tendenci and continuing to benefit from Open Source!

  1. Trendsetter Engineering Showcases Breadth of Services on their Tendenci 7.2 Responsive Site

    trendsetters-pic

  2. Subsea Technologies Inc. Offers Product Sales and Rentals for Underwater Operations using Tendenci Open Source Software

    Open Source for Business
    Subsea Technologies Launches Tendenci 7.2 site
  3. Ann Iverson Upgrades Online Presence with Mobile Tendenci Website

    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
  4. Brooks Acevedo Attorneys at Law Launch New Site to Educate Home Healthcare Provider

    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
  5. John Surtevant Launches Mobile Tendenci Site to Expand Market Reach

    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
  6. Harris Leasing Upgrades to Tendenci 7 to go Mobile Responsive Nationally

    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software
    Recent Responsive Sites running Tendenci Open Source Software

Tendenci is flexible enough to let you turn off modules you don’t need, and SEO friendly enough to make it a great alternative to proprietary CMS systems.

  1. No Proprietary Technology Lock In
  2. No Long Term Contracts
  3. No “Named User” pricing to prevents “Knowledge Silos”
  4. Greater Functionality
  5. Open Source and an Open Community

These are all things that forward thinking companies, not just non-profits, are starting to realize. And the wave of technology continues to compound behind large open source projects like ours (the entire Tendenci community’s). So sayeth the data.

which_web_programming_language_is_the_most_secure_

Source: https://www.upguard.com/blog/which-web-programming-language-is-the-most-secure

 

 

Elon Musk on Work Ethic

“Constantly seek criticism. … A well thought out critique of whatever you are doing is as valuable as gold.”- Elon Musk

and….

“If you do the simple math, if somebody else is working 50 hours and you are working 100, you’ll get twice as much done in the course of a year as the other company.”

“Just work like hell. You’ve gotta put in 80, 100 hour work weeks.” – Elon Musk

“Starting a business. Number 1 is having a high pain threshold.” – Elon Musk

“You are always going to buy the trusted brand unless there is a BIG difference.” – Elon Musk

“Constantly seek criticism. … A well thought out critique of whatever you are doing is as valuable as gold.” – Elon Musk

“Usually your friends know what is wrong. They don’t want to tell you because they don’t want to hurt you. … Usually your friends are right. …. You should take the approach that as an entrepreneur you are wrong. You want to be less wrong.” – Elon Musk

#listen #endure #powerthrough #succeed

If you’re doing things right, something will always be a little bit broken

If people don’t know how to do something, make them learn. That’s how Dropbox went from having 3 to 4 engineers regularly contributing to the iOS code base to over 30. “If you’re doing things right, something will always be a little bit broken. Most importantly, tell everybody that a little bit of chaos is okay,” Agarwal says

Source: http://firstround.com/review/The-30-Best-Pieces-of-Advice-for-Entrepreneurs-in-2014/

SXSW Eco Panel – Behind E-Waste – Recycling Electronics

E-Waste dumping - photo by Curtis PalmerThe success of SXSW’s March event each year has brought a year-round calendar of mind-expanding events like the 2nd annual SXSW Eco conference a few weeks ago. SXSW Eco brings participants together to focus on areas of Sustainability. The popular SXSW format, panel discussions and meetings over the three days, allowed experts to share their ideas, successes and challenges with audience participants. I was able to attend a variety of sessions including one important to both Schipul and our clients who use technology to support their business or non-profit.

The Good, Green & Shocking Truths

Panel Summary: Many factors such as planned obsolescence, consumer trends, and updated technology contribute to e-waste becoming one of the largest societal waste segments. Exactly how recyclable are our electronics, and what are the most responsible methods of disposal?

Moderator:

Maia Corbitt – Executive Director at State Of Texas Alliance For Recycling

Panel members speaking:
Clive Hess, President of  CompuCycle
Dag Adamson, CEO of LifeSpan Technology
Terry Levy, VP Sales for ARCOA

The panelists discussed the history of electronics recycling in Texas and the ways their organizations, alongside our state’s legislature, have gradually increased the ease of recycling for businesses.  The panel shared the different local electronics recycling programs and explained which programs were legitimately using state approved certifications and processes so that Houston business owners could confidently select a certified recycling center.

History of Electronics Recycling in Houston

15 years ago in Texas, most waste was being shipped overseas, and low grade metals were one of the main waste products.  Within the last ten years, we’ve seen this change as more businesses are seeing the value of sustainability programs.  Granted, some of this was instigated by policy change.  For example, Texas passed the 2008 Computer Take Back Law making computer manufacturers responsible for providing recycling to residents and small businesses.

In 2011, there was only one certified center in Houston and now there are 5 certified centers indicating a move towards easier and more responsible waste management.  The increase in facilities comes from businesses who provide recycling services moving towards end of life asset management for businesses, including refurbishing and re-use as much as possible, and encouraging recycling when re-use is not possible.  Combined with policy changes, taking out the hazardous materials and doing the right thing has become a profitable business focus. Recyclers also recover more value when possible for the business or consumer than they did in the past.

E-Waste Sustainability in Houston Today

Yesterday’s technology included much more solid metals waste and was larger (think old Desktops). Today’s recycling stream allows removal of metals and proper disposal. Current electronics are smaller and more efficient in their production. This already eliminates some of the bulk of recycling. Both of these are results of policy changes bringing a change in practices and new business opportunities.

Clive Hess, President of CompuCycle – Houston’s first R2 recycling center, brings success stories that share how CompuCycle has expanded their services to include data management and data sanitization, and provide better opportunities for Houston businesses to incorporate sustainability programs.  At CompuCycle, many recyclers now securely erase, sanitize and provide warranties on products they resell. No products are sold as-is, but only with a warranty and if it can’t be sold with a warranty, then it is recycled.

CompuCycle also participates in the unique recycling challenge called the WhatIf? campaign where you can donate your eWaste and they will hire and train individuals to recycle the components. This creates jobs and training for a local non-profit organization. The plan is to continue beyond the campaign as a sustainable endeavor, but they ‘need your junk’ to be successful.

Seek Out R2 Certified Recyclers

Most companies are not quite educated yet on R2 certification and the panel shed some light on how to evaluate and find the right certification options for your business. There’s still a long way to go for the recycling industry to be a recognized standards bearer and the EPA encourages companies to find out if the recycler you’re considering is certified by an accredited, independent certification auditor such as the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board.

The panelists agreed that Education will become key for Chief Sustainability Officers in companies and for your Chief recycler in your home.  The people who fill these roles will want to seek updates and stay informed with both the changes within the recycling services corporate world as well as with Federal and State policy changes. Some rrecycling businesses are only registered and will include this as part of their marketing materials, but doesn’t mean they are certified for recycling responsibly.

Our future should include policies that put pressure on electronic manufacturers to build upgradeable devices and longer life cycle products to reduce waste. But, this will require individuals to let their lawmakers know how to write these policies. Lawmakers listen to their constituency and particularly parents.

Want to Help Improve E-Waste?

Manufacturer’s need collection goals and the public needs easy locations to drop-off.

  1. Require retailers to provide information about recycling to consumers.
  2. Require state agencies to recycle assets via certified vendors.
  3. Recommendations that state computer Take Back laws include ALL electronics including TV’s and other waste.
  4. Find local R2 Certified Recycling facilities in your area.

Concerned about the future of materials in your landfills near your children? Let your State Representative know your concerns.  The EPA’s website also has a list of Recycling Resources where you can go to stay up to date on changes in policies and find tools to help individuals and businesses develop and implement sustainability programs at home and in your office.

Silver Lining for Urban MiningUrban mining and rare earth metals can be found locally instead of offshoring with other countries. Opportunities exist for job creation and has even been part of the lawmakers focus in Colorado for underserved markets. A de-manufacturing site provides jobs for disabled or underserved markets, and a refurbishing site can provide high-tech jobs for engineers. Recycling E-waste is a reverse supply chain position taking one part and producing many parts from the whole. The recycling industry is a consumer driven market. Imagine what happens if everyone started sending all electronics to recycling? It would be an influx of materials. A typical middle-income household has four or more devices per person in their home. Game consoles, cell phones, old iPods, CRT screens, printer, etc.

Business is good for current recycling facilities. What happens when there is no longer a market for glass or other low grade materials? There are electronic parts that have value such as copper, gold and metals, but it is getting harder to handle materials such as glass, lead and plastic. Panelists were quick to suggest as invention increases, there is opportunity with the challenges. Glass is now used in aggregates for road construction to help the roads last longer with addition of silica to increase life span. Reground ABS plastics lower the cost of many manufactured items. There will be a greater need to find opportunities like these for our increased e-waste.

Take Action Recycling your Electronics

Find a certified recycler near you, and find your representative. Have eWaste? Let us know and we can help you find the means to recycle responsibly!

Facebook Fan Page Management Webinar with Erica Bogdan

Facebook Fan Page Management Webinar with Erica Bogdan from Schipul – The Web Marketing Co. on Vimeo.

Businesses are relying more and more on Facebook Fan Pages as a way to connect with their target audience and reach the right client demographics. But having a large, engaged fan base is something that doesn’t just happen overnight. To make the most of your Fan Page you must think strategically and use the right tools to help drive traffic to your site.

Erica Bogdan is  Web designer and developer at Schipul and Facebook page admin for AIGA Houston. She will show you how over the past few months she’s increased her page’s number of fans and gotten them to interact on her page. This Webinar will cover the following:

  •  How to use Facebook admin tools effectively
  •  How to increase your fan numbers organically
  •  What strategies to use to ensure your content is being seen by the most amount of people.

Slides of this Webinar and previous ones can be found here also.

Make the Most Out of Your iPad at Work

Recently, I added myself to the list of iPad owners. I own Apple products, but not a tablet, so I was excited to put this new technology to productive use.  These apps aren’t free or cheap ($1-2) like a lot of other productivity apps, but they are well worth it. Here are my top 4 recommended iPad apps to help make your workday more productive.

1. Note Taker

Price: $4.99

If you need a place to doodle, take notes, or annotate PDFs, Note Taker is for you. It isn’t cheap, but you will get much more functionality than something like Penultimate ($.99).

Note Taker lets you create folders of documents and store those in other folders so it’s extremely organized. It also conforms to your style of note taking. Whether writing, note taking or doodling, you can:

  • Insert text via the keyboard
  • Insert shapes (Note Taker has 65 built in) or pictures from both your photo library and your camera instantly
  • Change the color and size of your pen
Zoom Writing and the Wristguard are what make Note Taker great for writing notes.

Zoom Writing

The zoom writing feature allows you to write accurately as large or as small as you’d like. When you want to advance: tap the right arrow to continue on the same line and the left to go to the next.

Wristguard

The gray bar is the wristguard feature. When most people write, they rest their hand on the writing surface. In Note Taker, the wristguard makes sure you don’t mark or mess up the line you’re writing on. You can toggle it on or off in zoom tools.

My Favorite Feature

My favorite feature is the ability to annotate PDFs. I needed to fill out some forms for an online class I was taking and had left my computer at a friends house. I downloaded the forms (as PDFs) I needed, filled out all the subject fields, and sent them in from my iPad.

Note Taker Tips and Integrations

Note Taker has a lot of features and is extremely powerful, but it has a bit of a learning curve, so you have to be patient with it. To read a comprehensive Note Taker user’s guide click here.

Note Taker is compatible with CloudOn (mentioned later), Evernote and Dropbox and you can send your notes to any of these apps using the output button in the tools section.

Overall, this app rocks. Plus, its only $5 for one killer note taking platform.

2. Scanner Pro

Price: $6.99

Scanner Pro is a dream: powerful and simple. Once the app is open, you can either scan using the camera, or upload from your photo library.

Scanner Pro Tips & Tricks

For scanning documents, the sky’s the limit. You can scan almost anything and use custom sizes.

I use “Select All” to choose which part of the document to save, but you can adjust it using the blue dots in the corners.

Once the document is scanned, you can edit the contrast and brightness then export as a PDF or JPEG. Scanner Pro syncs with Dropbox, Google Drive (previously Docs), or Evernote.

Scanner Pro is powerful, so if you don’t need an app of this caliber you can try Genius Scan which is free but has limited capabilities.

3. CloudOn

Price: Free

CloudOn’s claim to fame is being the first to bring Microsoft Office to iPad. It’s great for editing your PowerPoint, Word, and Excel Microsoft Office documents on the go.  CloudOn’s downside are the limitations with creating new documents or doing heavy re-structuring.

 

Capabilities

The keyboard responds to commands like cut, copy, paste, and undo. All of the buttons in the interface are click-able but not all of them work.

I use CloudOn for minor editing and changes like font family, size, and type.

It’s especially helpful in PowerPoint because you can easily edit, add, or delete slides and save to the cloud.

CloudOn links with Box, Google Drive, and Dropbox. You can save, edit and access your files anywhere with Internet.

CloudOn is great for the price and offers on-the-go editing for the on-the-go person who needs to make quick edits to their Office documents.

4. Pocket Informant HD

Price: $14.99

Pocket Informant HD is expensive compared to some other apps in the App Store and  is the most expensive app I’ve included in this review.  However, if I had to choose one app as a must have, Informant is that app.

At Schipul, we use Google Calendars for scheduling and Informant syncs seamlessly. It also syncs with Toodledo, Google Tasks, and iOS Calendar.

The beauty of Informant is that it does everything. It has a calendar (with customizable views much like Google Calendar), tasks & events, notes, and contacts. Each item is tabbed and color coded.

Features that Make Informant Worth the Extra Cash

  1. With Informant, you can call anyone (via FaceTime) straight from the contacts tab.
  2. Informant also enables you to link contacts and send them invite via Google sync or the iPad’s email client when creating tasks/events.

One or more of these features come standard in every scheduling app, but Informant effortlessly puts them all in one place, for you to use. For the same price as a good notebook planner, you always have it, and it integrates digitally.

Increased Productivity for Just $26

I use these apps daily and  I strongly recommend all of them. Together, they make your iPad more than just a portable toy for playing Angry Birds by giving you a suite of tools to increase your productivity at work.

Informant is a stand alone app and the other three apps integrate with each other. I’ve found it is pretty easy using Note Taker, Scanner Pro and CloudOn in unison.

You can get all of these apps from the iTunes iPad App Store for just $26 dollars (less than dinner and a movie)!

While You Are on Your iPad…

Come check out some of Schipul’s recent mobile responsive sites from your iPad!  Responsive design gives your website the cool ability to display an optimized user experience based on the size of each site visitor’s screen.  Come see how these sites look on your iPad compared to your desktop and smartphone:

http://rig.net

http://cmhouston.org

http://tendenci.com

Gary Hoover On How to “Think Like an Entrepreneur” and Succeed in Your Business

This week, I had the distinct honor of hearing Gary Hoover present at the Houston Technology Center on how to “Think Like an Entrepreneur”.  Gary Hoover is a successful entrepreneur having founded companies including Bookstop and Hoovers.com and he’s spent the last year as the “Entrepreneur in Residence” at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Austin.

Gary’s presentation was described as an “intense, information and idea packed presentation… [that] will be like drinking from a fire hydrant.”  That description was spot-on.

I took over 5 pages of notes, mostly trying to type as fast as I could and catch the great and inspiring quotes of wisdom plus the recommendations for books and specific, actionable items Gary said we could do to change the way we thought and be more successful and innovative in business.  

Gary began his presentation by personally handing everyone in the audience his business card and shaking our hands.  On the back of Hoover’s card are the top 8 things he believes are keys to making great enterprises.  Download a larger photograph of his business card with the 8 tips to keep and view more photos from the evening presentation in the Tendenci Photo Album I’ve created.

If you are interested in a  full copy of my notes, leave a comment below or send me an email at sworthy@schipul.com and I’ll gladly send them to you.

I was inspired by how much of what Gary recommended for being a more successful entrepreneur also applied to the work we do at Schipul for our clients in web development, website design, and web marketing.  In learning to think more like an entrepreneur, you also learn to see different perspectives, understand the ‘bigger picture’ of your business, and receive lifelong benefits personally and professionally.

Probably the most profound statement of the evening from Gary was when he said:

“I define entrepreneurship as getting great personal satisfaction from serving others… you have to love it and others have to love [what you are giving them].  

The people who are most happy with their lives at my stage are the people who have spent their whole lives working to make the world a better place.”

Here are Gary’s recommendations for learning how to “Think Like an Entrepreneur”.  My goal is for you to find the same inspiration and ways to relate them to your daily life as I found.

Practice the Habit of Wisdom

“These are people who just cannot be anything but an entrepreneur.  They may fail a lot – because it’s hard to get them to sit still, hard to get them to focus… but ultimately they are going to succeed because they just don’t stop.”

As Gary states, some people are born fundamentally entrepreneurial and others are born to be bureaucrats, while the rest of us fall someplace in between the 2 extremes. If you want to become more entrepreneurial, then you will need to change by developing better thinking habits.

To develop these habits, you’ll first need to master the 3 things Gary calls his working definition of wisdom :

  1. Knowing what matters and what doesn’t matter.
  2. Knowing what changes and what doesn’t change.
  3. Knowing what you can change and what you can’t change.

These are three easy concepts to understand and yet, very difficult to master. As Gary put it, “There’s no rocket science here, but you’ll spend your whole life trying to figure out what matters and what doesn’t.”

Be Curious

“Study the great entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell and so on, and you’ll find an intense curiosity.”

Gary explains the importance of doing your research before starting a new business venture.  The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who ask the most questions and really understand the marketplace, the customers and competitors, and gain insight into the future of the business environment.

Ask the managers and owners of similar businesses questions like:

  • What do you like about your job, and what don’t you like?
  • What is the best day you’ve ever had… describe your worst day?
  • What do you look for in an employee and how do you hire and train new people?

By asking questions and being curious, you can begin to gain perspectives from other people and understand the why’s and the how’s and the what’s…

When you begin to understand these different perspectives beyond your own, you can make better decisions and you are more equipped to solve problems as they are thrown randomly at you.

Read Every Day

“The key question is do you see yourself in a box or not in box?”

The greatest thought leaders in the world are also the most avid readers.  Read daily, Gary recommends, books and business journals… the beauty of the internet is the availability of so much free and great reading material.

Here are 2 books Gary recommended Tuesday night:

The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators” by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton M. Christensen

The Innovators DNA describes 4 skills required for innovation:

  1. Observing
  2. Networking
  3. Experimenting
  4. Questioning

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck

Mindset describes the importance of not locking your children or yourself into a set way of thinking.  Gary recommended this book and said “It’s not about being smart or being stupid: people who think they’re smart are locking themselves in a box just like people who think they’re stupid.”

Entrepreneurship is not About the Technology

“Entrepreneurship is a lifelong process of self-understanding: learning about yourself .”

As I listened to Gary’s presentation, I found myself mentally replacing the word “entrepreneurship” with “Marketer” and “Schipulite”. We’re passionate about providing great service to our clients.  We’re constantly asking questions and inviting our clients to come hang out with us so we can get to know you.  We never stop trying to innovate and find better ways to help your business increase online and offline revenues through your website and web marketing.

These quotes from Gary’s presentation were my favorite because they gave me new perspectives on creating a better user experience through our Tendenci CMS for you, your staff, and your website visitors:

“When I use the word technology, I mean any way of doing better things… Technology is only relevant to the extent that it makes people’s lives better!”

“Step back and look at the big pattern – and the big pattern here is that ALL MEDIA has been digitalized, it’s all been turned into 0’s and 1’s.”

Be obsessed with your customer and making great products for them and you will succeed – be passionate about it. It is about making it good for the user!”

I would love to hear how we can make our products and services better for You and anything else you want to add!  Please tell us below in our comments or Come Hang Out With Us and get to know us.  (And I promise to ask you lots of questions!)