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Beware of Domain Renewal Notices

Posted by    |   December 1st, 2008   |   No responses

It's called Domain Name Slamming - Don't let it happen to you. Domain name slamming is the popular term for a fraudulent practice where scammers try to trick you into transferring your domain name to a different registrar. Many of our clients have us register their domain name for them as part of the website development process. Others come to us with their own registered domains. In either case, the specified "owner" of the domain is always the client or business owner. Scammers usually contact the domain owner with a professional looking email (or a hard copy letter) telling them that their domain name is set to expire soon (which is likely true). There's usually a link to click to renew the domain. What they don't mention is that when you click the link, you are agreeing to transfer your domain name from its existing registrar to theirs. Once you click the link, you've initiated the transfer. In other words - you've got a slew of problems. Your domain name is no longer pointed at your website server, which means you've got no website on the internet, no email and in most cases, it's a logistical nightmare getting your domain name back. This is not a new problem, but we continue to see people get duped and thought it would be great to spread the word - even if it's just a reminder. If you are one of our clients and you've chosen to let us register your domain, we'll take care of renewing it for you (we'll always ask you first). So if you get one of these bogus emails, don't respond to it. If you're not sure who controls your domain, it's a good idea to find out so that you can identify potential scams.
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Google’s Personalized Search: A New Paradigm?

Posted by    |   November 19th, 2008   |   No responses

Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO, is an ever-present focus for Insight Designs as we work to improve the rankings of sites on numerous Search Engines. More of an art than a science, SEO today depends upon such things as strategically devised meta tags and the nebulous concept of link popularity. Search for "SEO" on the internet, and you will likely be exposed to a very lengthy and dense list of companies promising to improve your rankings. Sometimes enacted SEO does change the rankings of a site, and sometimes the rankings change for no apparent reason. SEO is a tough racket but an important one -- and one that is about to change. Google, the leading search engine, recently received a patent for personalizing search returns based upon the language of the user. This means that a search in Spanish will return sites that are also in Spanish. This technology will soon expand so that search results will be personalized based upon the user's location, recent use of Google, and search history. Search returns might also be based upon factors such as whether the user is doing research or shopping. The intent of the Google user will matter as much as the SEO of the sites. This will fundamentally change what has been the focus of SEO. No longer will sites be ranked according to keywords or links. In the future, a search will return sites according to the user's needs. Whether Google's shift to personalized search results translates into a new search paradigm remains to be seen. Regardless, we at Insight Designs will continue to pay attention to these changes and keep you aware of new SEO strategies.
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Google’s Web Browser: Chrome – not quite there yet

Posted by    |   October 24th, 2008   |   No responses

Back on September 2nd, Google released the web browser called Chrome. Touted as a "modern platform for web pages and applications," Chrome was quickly downloaded and put to use by webmasters and users eager to test this new browser. The initial usage numbers indicated that Chrome was well on its way to becoming a hit and Insight Designs began to consider what this could mean for current and future web development. Now, seven weeks later, the early exuberance for Chrome has waned and has been replaced by a more realistic view of this new browser. While Google's Chrome does provide an interesting start to the next evolution of the web browser, Chrome’s large number of bugs, frequent crashes and a lack of differentiation as compared to the more popular browsers has resulted in a decline in usage numbers and return by users to IE7 and Firefox. Google has since cut back on the marketing of Chrome and is now focusing on improvements. What can we learn from Chrome's story?
  1. Beware the hype. Chrome was released with great fanfare and promise but quickly failed to achieve expectations. It is always a good idea to use the resources of the Internet and find independent comments and test results for any new technology.
  2. Change takes time and while the internet may speed up the developmental cycle of a new technology, we should practice patience and make sure it works before integrating into our processes.
  3. Any new browser will be compared to the current browsers and since people are more comfortable using what they know, the new browser will need to offer something new to appeal to the user. This is a good rule to apply to any new web technology.
  4. Google is expanding and looking to move beyond being just a way to search the web.
A web browser is a vital component to how many of us access and use the web. In order to ensure all users can view a webpage as it was intended, Insight Designs will test a site on multiple browsers including IE6, IE7, Firefox 3 and AOL 9 on PCs, and Firefox 2, AOL 10 and Safari 3 on Macs. We haven't added Chrome to the list -- yet.
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Vampire Rides

Posted by    |   October 23rd, 2008   |   No responses

Kris Thompson, who happens to work for one of our clients Home & Abroad, is a cycling fanatic who faithfully maintains a Boulder area bicycling blog Kris recently joined me on one of my early morning training rides and wrote a fun story about his experience. If anyone is interested in what I do before coming into the office here at Insight Designs, check out his "Vampire Rides" story on
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The web – where we are, where we’re going, people to watch

Posted by    |   October 16th, 2008   |   No responses

At a recent In-house Insight, I gave a presentation on the future of the web. I thought you, our blog readers, might like to read some of what I shared: A few stats on where we are now:
  • As of January 2008, there were 156 million active websites (not including subdomains), according to Netcraft.
  • As of December 2007, 1.4 billion people used the Internet (that's 21% of the global population). In North America, about 250 million people, or 73% of the population, used the Internet. For more on usage stats, see
  • In 2007, the top two advertising mediums were newspapers, at $55.7 billion, and broadcast television, at $48.7 billion, according to private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson. But VSS estimates that by 2011, overall Internet advertising will become the largest advertising medium, at nearly $63 billion, describing the shift as "a watershed moment" in the media business. Learn more.
Some of the lesser known innovative movers and shakers worth keeping an eye on in the web world:
  • Matt Freeman is the founder and former CEO of Tribal DDB, which in January of this year became the first interactive agency to be named global agency of the year by Advertising Age. In June, Matt left Tribal DDB to become CEO of GoFish, a kid-focused media company and ad network. We'll all be hearing his name again. Read more.
  • Shelly Palmer is the host of "MediaBytes," a daily internet news show and blog with insightful commentary on the biggest stories in media, technology and entertainment (all of which are blurring into one by the minute, it seems). Palmer is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestow Emmy Awards). And he's a pioneer in the field of Internet technologies. Check out his blog at
  • David Pescovitz is co-editor of the popular weblog, a research director with the Institute for the Future, editor-in-large for MAKE and writer-in-residence for UC Berkeley's College of Engineering. He co-wrote the book book "Reality Check," based on his long-running forecasting column in Wired magazine where he remains a correspondent. He also has contributed to Scientific American, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, New Scientist, IEEE Spectrum, and many other publications. In 2002, he won the Foresight Prize in Communication, recognizing excellence in educating the public and research community about nanotechnology and other emerging technologies. This man knows his stuff. More:
A couple of good articles on where we're headed:
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