ASB: Facebook replies are now advertisements

The Advertising Standards Board has set the regulatory cat among the social-media pigeons in a decision this week, ruling that posts by users to a company's Facebook page are advertisements by that company. Read on!

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Sensis, White & Yellow Pages - still dying

Spotted this afternoon, an interesting post at Technology Spectator.

Fifteen years ago Sensis, the directories arm of Telstra, was untouchable. A listing in the Yellow and White Pages was essential for every business and Sensis’ monopoly was a true river of gold.

Sensis’ launch this week of an Australian partnership with the US based review site Yelp is Telstra’s desperate throw of the dice to survive in a market where its directories business has become irrelevant. ... The phone directory business model is a product of the 1920s and in many ways Telstra and the other Yellow Pages franchisees around the world should be greatful it has lasted so long.

Technology Spectator considers how much partnership with Yelp may help Sensis and comes to a conclusion of "not very much".

Here at CCM our advice has been, for many years, that a dollar spent on listing in Yellow and White Pages is a dollar wasted. Spend that dollar on improving your own website! Your company website is your home on the Internet. That's the #1 online location where you can form and cement relationships with potential customers, tell your own story, and market your products and services.

Paranoid security policies pay off

Almost a year ago I made a post explaining a bit about "Website hosting" - what it is and why Chilli Chocolate Marketing provides it to our clients if required. Now hosting a company website brings certain responsibilities. Website vandals and malicious hackers are constantly on the lookout for badly-secured websites - they're out there 24/7 performing the digital equivalent of trying doors and windows to see if they're locked and looking under doormats for spare keys.

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Why we like Open Source web platforms

Here at Chilli Chocolate Marketing we manage websites for a great and diverse group of clients. Some of the sites we built ourselves, some we didn't; some we host ourselves, some are hosted elsewhere. This has brought us into contact with a wide range of website-server tools and management platforms. We're sometimes asked what we prefer, or "what's good". Well that all depends on the requirements of course - use the best tool for the job, as the saying goes. But as a general rule we advise each of our clients to use website tools that are well-known and widely-used. That means that the client isn't tied to using one particular web host or website company.

If your website is running on some custom platform that no other company in the world uses, then you are locked in to your present web hosting arrangement. If anything goes wrong, there's only one place to turn for help: the person or company who originally made your website. That's not a good situation to be in, especially if that person is unavailable or is too busy to help.

We're big fans of open-source Content Management Systems not just because they're easy to use and powerful; we're fans because they're freely available and how to operate them is close to common knowledge in the website community. If your website is built using such tools, then you are able to pack it up and move it to anywhere such tools are supported if you need to - and that's pretty much everywhere.  If your website is built and dependent on closed proprietary tools from one provider, that means you're tied to that one provider and only that provider can help you.

If you have any questions about this sort of thing, feel free to ask. Your website is your most important marketing tool, and we're happy to help!