Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Understanding Facebook Pages for Business

Are you on Facebook? What about your business?
If you’re a business owner you really need to set up a Fan Page or else you risk being left behind as more businesses shift to social networks like Facebook. My upcoming workshop is a guide to understanding business "Pages" on Facebook.

The workshop will look at:
1. The difference between personal and business pages
2. How to setup your business page
3. What privacy settings you can use to prevent or control access to your personal information

Before attending the workshop you should have a personal Facebook page, known as a Facebook profile. If you need help with setting this up you can download my "Signing Up to Facebook" guide from the free resources on our website.
Ideally you will have some personal experience of Facebook but you don't need any business experience of Facebook.

The workshop details:
4:30pm on Wednesday 23rd March 2011
4:30pm on Wednesday 30th March 2011
At Spiral, Level 1, 240 Jackson St, Petone
Will run for approx. 90 minutes.

Arrive early if you would like afternoon tea which will be served from 4pm.

The cost to attend is $80 for the public. The event is free for Spiral clients.
Please rsvp to

Christchurch and Twitter

An aerial shot of Christchurch from a helicopter carrying Pri... on TwitpicIt takes just seconds to post a status update to Twitter which means Twitter can break news even before the news stations. Within minutes of the earthquake in Christchurch people were tweeting about the disaster. At a time when many people in Chch didn't have radio or television coverage Twitter provided status updates for them via their mobile phones.

You can find out whats happening in Christchurch by searching for the hashtags
  • #christchurch 
  • #eqnz
or looking at the twitter handles:
The Japanese earthquake is #eqjp

... and if you don't know what these #tags mean you can go on over to the Twitter glossary and look them up.

Cloud Computing & Disasters

We are all reeling from the results of the latest earthquake in Japan coming so soon after our dear friends and families in Christchurch had the ground and their lives shaken.  Once we are over the shock it would be a good time to start thinking about disaster recovery and being prepared. We've put a bit of thought into disaster recovery and backup.

After the shock of Christchurch we, like so many others, took stock of our emergency plans. Our first priority is our people so we have upgraded our emergency kit, adding more water to it, extra food for us, and dog food for Myst. We've also made it easier to find in case its surrounded by rubble. After looking after the team here at Spiral our focus will shift to looking after our customers interests. People use our software to:
  • update their websites
  • manage their membership databases
  • manage and sell products online
  • send email newsletters and promotions
This software resides on servers in Auckland and Sydney.  If there is a local earthquake we are confident that a customer with electricity and a computer they will be able to use our software immediately. Both server sites have off-site backups.

We write software that runs in "the cloud" so it's only logical that a lot of our processes are managed by cloud software.  We also use other peoples cloud software, namely
  • Basecamp for project Management
  • Highrise for our Customer Database
  • Google Apps for documents, calendars and email
  • Xero for financial reporting and invoicing
  • Nautilus (our software) for updating website content
Our team can work anywhere from Napier to Petone to Canada to the UK. Supporting the flexible working arrangements we have implemented was the major driver behind setting all this up. While setting this up we have accidentally created an amazing disaster recovery situation. If our building in Petone was damaged by fire or natural disaster we would have all our critical data available immediately and could be back in operation as soon as we had access to electricity.

As for that server in Auckland - we deliberately commissioned the servers that your software, databases and websites are on in Auckland, rather than use another excellent provider here in the Hutt Valley. We backup all our data, and your data, to our local server here in Petone to cover any Auckland disaster.