Apply This One Essential Advertising Principle To Sell Your Product Right

From: Intuit QuickBooks, by Katherine Gustafson

At the end of the film The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo diCaprio, is coaching would-be salesmen by asking them to sell him a pen. As he hands the silver pen to each one, they start describing the pen and its benefits: the pen is nice, the pen works, the pen can help you write your thoughts. Each time, Belfort moves on, unsatisfied.

What kind of sales pitch is he looking for? The one he wants was given to him earlier in the film by his drug dealer friend, Brad, who grabs the pen and says to Belfort, “Write your name.” Belfort replies, “I can’t, I don’t have a pen.” Sold! <READ MORE>

Law Technology Today’s Top 10 Articles of 2014

From: Law Technology Today, Posted by: Gwynne Monahan January 13, 2015

Last week we looked back at the standout articles and posts from Law Practice Magazine and Law Practice Today in 2014. Now, we’re taking a look back at this blog and some of its thought-provoking, or otherwise interesting posts. I confess this has been tricky, as there is such good content; my inclination is to point you to the archives and call it a day.

I could do this the long way, like a 70,000 word exposition of all the good content, but I’m opting for the short way: a manageable post covering the Top 10 based on analytics. <READ MORE>

The 5 Best Websites for Business Cards

From: Intuit QuickBooks, by Megan Sullivan

Even with our growing reliance on technology, having a business card ready for an impromptu meeting, networking event or long-anticipated face-to-face consultation is still important. Fortunately, with the advent of design and do-it-yourself sites, you no longer need to be a design wizard to have an eye-catching business card.

Below is a roundup of five of the best online locations for designing and ordering your business cards. Some key things to remember as you sort through this list and others are:

Design

How important is it that your business card stands out from the pack? If you’re looking for something truly unique, it might be best to invest in the services of a freelance graphic designer (try Elance or 99designs) who can create something completely original for you.

Cost and Quantity

Chances are you don’t need 10,000 business cards. Make sure to examine the quantity levels available as well as the related costs. Obviously, the more you order, the more you save, but stockpiling business cards may not be the best option, especially if you anticipate any changes in your title or contact information, including updating a phone number, email or address.

Look and Feel

If the stock of the paper is important to you (not too thin, not too thick), you might want to spend some time at an office supply store getting an idea of the different weights of paper (referred to as “pounds”). Your typical sheet of printer paper is 20 pounds, while your typical business card is 80-pound cover. If you want to be sure you’re getting what you want, it might be best to acquaint yourself with these weights before ordering online.

Resources

A quick note about this list: It includes sites with the primary purpose of providing business materials. There are other sites online that offer business cards as one of their product categories (i.e. Zazzle) that are not listed here. <READ MORE>

CryptoWall ransomware variant has new defenses

This ransomware began to surface in our area back in October, 2014.  Please take a moment to review the article.  The battle continues.

From: PC World, by Jeremy Kirk, January 8, 2015

CryptoWall, one of a family of malware programs that encrypts files and demands a ransom from victims, has undergone a revamp that is frustrating security researchers.

At one time, CryptoWall was a second-rate successor to CryptoLocker, which largely disappeared after law enforcement shut down the Gameover Zeus botnet that was used to distribute it.

Ransomware has been around for more than a decade, but cybercriminals have resurrected the scam over the last couple of years with surprising success. Files on computers infected with ransomware are encrypted, and victims are encouraged to pay a ransom—usually in the virtual currency Bitcoin—to unlock their files.

Dell SecureWorks estimated in August 2014 that CryptoWall had infected 600,000 computers in the previous six months, netting as much as $1 million in ransoms. The fee demanded ranges from $100 to $500. <READ MORE>

Lots of docs will be skipping Stage 2 meaningful use

From: Healthcare IT News, Mike Miliard, Editor, January 6, 2015

Majority of physicians polled, specialists especially, say further MU pursuit not worth their while.

A new survey of physicians by Healthcare IT News’ sister site finds that 55 percent of them won’t attest to Stage 2 meaningful use this year. It’s “almost impossible” says one specialist polled by Medical Practice Insider.

“The following sentence is false 100 percent of the time: ‘We completed meaningful use stages 1 and 2 and as a consequence the care we provide for our patients has improved,'” said another skeptical doc – one of nearly 2,000 polled by MPI in partnership with SERMO.

There are plenty of reasons that physicians find it preferable to forgo this next, much-harder stage of meaningful use. For many, it just doesn’t make sense for their practice – or for their patients.

“It requires patients to have emails and engage my EHR,” said a cardiologist. “Well, I have a lot of patients in their 80s and 90s, and they don’t have computers, let alone email.”

“My patients are reluctant to use messaging and I personally do not like the interface for my portal,” said a family practitioner.

Read more about the results at Medical Practice Insider.

 

10 Time Saving Technology Troubleshooting Tactics

From: Law Technology Today, Posted by: Craig Huggart January 6, 2015

Don’t you hate it when you are in a hurry to meet a deadline and your technology fails you? It happens to everybody, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Next time it happens to you, these tactics can help you move forward faster. You don’t have to be a geek to do these things, you just have to be willing to try.

In the 30 years I’ve been working with technology, the specifics have changed in huge ways but the principles are still the same. It doesn’t matter is you are using a Windows PC, a Mac, an iPad, an Android device, or whatever, these tactics work.<READ MORE>

What Is a Contingency Plan and Why Does Your Business Need One?

From: Intuit QuickBooks, Suzanne Kearnson December 24, 2014

For 2015 – Start off the New Year by ensuring your Business stays in Business.

You’re humming along in your business, and suddenly — out of the blue — the unexpected happens. It could be in the form of a natural disaster, or something else, like a medical emergency for you or your most valuable employee. You could lose your entire data system to a tech glitch, or sales of your new product could flat-line.

Any of these events could prevent a business from functioning, and that’s where contingency planning can save the day. Stephen Bush, who is CEO of AEX Commercial Financing Group and has 30 years as a small-business consultant, sums it up: “Contingency planning involves asking yourself what could go wrong for every aspect of your business, and then preparing an action plan for what you will do if that happens.” Here is a four-step process you can use to prepare a contingency plan for your business. <READ MORE>

The top 10 memes, viral videos, and online goings-on that defined 2014

From: PC World – by Nick Mediati, Dec 30, 2014

Alex from Target. Meghan Trainor. The Ice Bucket Challenge (brrrr!). Those are just 3 of the 10 biggest memes and videos that went viral in 2014. If you can name them all, you’re either incredibly connected or incredibly tormented.

I’m not going to lie to you: It took me forever to pull this list together because I kept getting distracted by other videos and memes. Here’s hoping the same fate doesn’t await you as you read on. <READ ON>

Startup Finds Success with Ugly Christmas Sweaters

From: Intuit QuickBooks, by Laura McCamy on December 19, 2014

If you still have the reindeer sweater your Aunt Martha knit for you, haul it out of the mothballs. Ugly holiday sweaters are the toast of the millennial town. But if you don’t have a Christmas sweater, Tipsy Elves has you covered. Founded in 2011, the company offers colorful, ironic designs featuring gnomes, abominable snowmen, and yellow snow. “We don’t just sell tacky sweaters,” says co-founder Evan Mendelsohn. “We sell subtly funny sweaters.”

After finishing grad school with a joint MBA and law degree, Mendelsohn went to work at a large law firm in 2010. Despite the heavy workload of a first-year lawyer, he found time to indulge a passion for internet marketing on the side. As he developed his SEO and analytics skills, he discovered there was a high volume of searches for holiday sweaters, as people looked for suitably ironic garb to wear to ugly-sweater-themed holiday parties. <READ MORE>

What the Sony hack can teach us about protecting our email

From: PC World, by Tony Bradley, December 23, 2014

While the buzz around the Sony hack has shifted to the impact on free speech, and terrorist threats against movie theaters that dare to show the movie The Interview, there are many layers to the Sony debacle. One element that made for salacious headlines immediately following the hack, but has since faded from the spotlight, was the hackers’ dumping of company emails onto the Web.

The messages of Sony executives were both damaging and embarrassing. The fallout should remind us that there are likely a few things in all our email archives that could be humiliating if a hacker, hacktivist, or malicious insider published the contents for all to see. I have thousands, or tens of thousands of emails, going back for years. It’s safe to assume that something in there would at least be embarrassing, if not damaging to me personally or professionally as well. <READ MORE>