I learned about the following resource from a lunch companion at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofit conference yesterday.
Rent a Coder (www.rentacoder.com)
It’s a site that connects web site programmers with folks who need programs. You describe your project and offer a price for the service and with any luck programmers contact you with their credentials. My lunch buddy had tried this and got some work done very affordably from a coder based in Russia.
One a tangential note – the MCN conference was very good. I gave a presentation on “Getting Found on the Internet,” which I just posted online (http://www.treacyinfo.com/MCN_2006.htm) if you are interested.
After last week’s Byte a few people asked me about safety and sites such as MySpace (an online teen haven). So I’ve done a little research about online safety for kids.
Surf Swell Island (http://disney.go.com/surfswell/index.html) – My older kids (ages 6 & 7) love this game! They started playing it before they could read. It’s all about online safety and isn’t scary. My hope is that safety is ingrained before they can read or type well enough to join online chats or other “social networking sites”.
NetSmartz Workshop (http://www.netsmartz.org/) – This looks good for teens. The blog quiz brought up some great points, such as “college recruiters can get info on me through social network web sites.” Taking this quiz with your favorite teen would introduce some important topics – and provide guidance on the how’s and why’s of safety.
Wired recently ran an article on MySpace (http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70287-0.html) – The article is pretty interesting. Feedback from readers found below the article is very interesting.
And just so we don’t forget that the Internet is worth the risk, here’s my new favorite site for kids (http://www.superkids.com/aweb/tools/). The site creates quick worksheets for kids. Most worksheets seem to be for grade school kids though they mention a word-of-the-day vocabulary builder for high school kids (to prepare for PSAT & SAT tests).
New Byte Feature – IndeNewsletter
I work with a lot of different companies – most are independently owned. Sometimes they have fun news to share. The news isn’t always Byte material but often I think it might be interesting to some readers. So, I’ve decide to start a blog that features client news – and just quickly mention the topic in the Byte in case it’s a topic that might interest you.
This week IndeNewsetter – OneStopLenderApps (http://www.onestoplenderapps.com) is a neat tool for mortgage lenders that was recently unveiled. Apparently mortgage brokers need to fill out big applications with multiple wholesale mortgage lenders to get mortgages for end users. These guys have created one online form that a mortgage broker can complete to be submitted to multiple wholesale lenders (they have more than 200 in their database.) Learn more on Indenews (http://www.indenewsletter.com)
The Washington Post recently ran an article on the changing landscape of the top 50 web sites. Traffic is leveling out on many of the top web sites; however sites that feature blogging, social networks, or local information are seeing great increases in traffic.
Some of the fastest growing sites include:
Blogger (www.blogger.com) – provides free space and tools for users to publish blogs
Myspace (www.myspace.com) – an interactive site for young people (teens)
Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.com) – an online encyclopedia where everyone is invited to post info on an entry
CitySearch (www.citysearch.com) – a directory of city info that featured local reviews
Each of these sites includes an interactive component.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, if you’re looking to buy advertising online, consider interactive web sites. If you maintain a web site that you hope to become a destination web site, consider an interactive component.
If you don’t have a web site – consider visiting some of these places online to start interacting online. If you have teenagers you should visit MySpace and talk to your teens about what is acceptable online behavior. (Make sure they are aware that they should never give personal info online.)
For more info, check out the Washington Post article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/03/AR2006040301692.html).