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Archive for November, 2007

PostHeaderIcon Inspiration From Down Under

I have to just tell you guys real quick about Kylie… whom I call “The Pink One”. She’s this lady from Australia who I first met at a VANA chat. We were looking at each others websites. Hers was pink. No, I don’t think you understand. It looked like a bottle of Pepto Bismal had exploded all over my screen. It was PINK. Did I tell you that I hate pink? I do. I hate hate hate hate pink. She’s since toned it down so it’s not hot pink, but she’s still pink.

I’ve been following Kylie’s career since then and she’s a pretty funny lady – smart too. And she doesn’t mind that I poke fun at her pinkness 🙂 At any rate… she has decided she wants to come to the IVAA Summit this year. Then she looked at the prices. Ouch! So, she decides to be enterprising and is taking donations to get her butt there. Check out her blog here. I thought, wow, how inspirational! A ticket from Australia to the US is pretty pricey and she really wants to come, so I think it’s a great thing to at least show how serious you are about it.

I hope she makes it. I’d love to meet her – pink or not.


PostHeaderIcon Can you handle the truth?

I was at an online networking group tonight in a chat room and we were looking at each other’s websites. See. People make the big mistake of asking me what I think. Why is that a mistake? Well, because I tell them. Heck, sometimes they don’t even have to ASK and I tell them. It’s hard, you put yourself out there and someone finds fault. I know. I’ve been there. My website is FAR from perfect (my web designer keeps after me to let her change it, but I dunno – I’m one of those people that doesn’t like my cheese moved!)

I’ve had good results overall. Tonight wasn’t too bad. I told a fellow VA that she might want to have her web content looked at – having a professional rewrite my content so it was interesting made a huge impact in my business. She seemed to take it well – after she informed me she was a copywriter! Oh vey! BUT I do have to say that I think writing for business and writing for the web (marketing) is two totally different animals. Heck, blog writing is different in and of itself.

But I’m left wondering… do people REALLY want to know an opinion or do they want to only hear that it’s fabulous? I had one lady really get all bent about it. I had to remind her that it is only an opinion.

Another VA shared that she asked for opinions and there was something obviously wrong with the project she was showing around, but it went through quite a few people before one spoke up. She wished someone had something sooner.

I do believe that, in business, we have to have a thick skin. I consider myself fairly successful in this VA thing, and part of that is that I can “take it”. That’s why, while I will mentor someone now and then, I have to make sure they understand that. It’s not personal, but I am pretty straight forward about stuff.

My point? Don’t ask unless you really really want to know 🙂

Cuz I’ll tell ya! *laugh*

PostHeaderIcon Gmail – the Microsoft Way….

We seem to pick on Microsoft a lot here at OffAssist, don’t we?

Well, I’m not gonna…

What If Gmail Had Been Designed by Microsoft?

I’ll just point you to someone else that is… seriously funny funny stuff!

I do have to wonder though… with the near disaster they are having with Vista (more on that later from Tom), what do the folks up there in Redmond need to do to get it right? They are losing market share and really mucking things up.

PostHeaderIcon Lead Buyer Specialist needed in Austin, TX

One of my clients, Dee Copeland, is looking for a Lead Buyer Specialist to join her team…

Check out her listing at

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Dee for a few years now and she is an absolutely dream to work with. Check it out!

Good luck!

PostHeaderIcon While We’re on the Subject…

… of Google and Open Source…

The Google Pack. I still haven’t been to check it out, though I will admit to having a custom Google home page…

Apparently, in addition to the Google Docs we’ve all known about for a while, Google slid a full-on MS Office competitor into their Google Pack back in August, Star Office 8. Star Office is a Sun Microsystems product loosely based around Open Office but with a few more perks that Sun sells.

This is the first time Star Office has been made available for free. Check out the article, then check out the Google Pack.

PostHeaderIcon Google Rising

Seems we’re all about the G-word right now.

Word on the street is the Google is diving into the mobile browser market–with an Open Source platform.

I’m not geekalicious to competently pass all the scoop on, so check out this article on Financial Times’ website for all the skinny.

PostHeaderIcon Just in case

you weren’t sure Google is trying to displace Micro$oft one application at a time.

May I present:

The Google Calculator, brought to us today by Jennifer Gniadecki of Atypical Virtual Associates

Candy & I got a chance to meet Jennifer at a conference about this time last year and she is one smart cookie. At the time she was in middle of re-designing her website–and she was doing it herself! I’m still impressed. Go, click, see what she has to say.

PostHeaderIcon Today is Not the End

The 2002 Microsoft anti-trust suit ended in a consent decree; basically Microsoft agreed to let a judge scrutinize their operations rather than having the case go forward (does anti-trust go to trial? My government and history classes were a looong time ago).

The software giant did get the usual oversight period reduced from ten years to a mere five, citing a fast-changing industry as justifiable cause.

Today, 11/12/07, was supposed to be the last day of that five years of oversight.

The judge in charge has extended it, currently to expire not later than January 31, 2008. This is due to concerns brought up by several states involved in the original suit that Microsoft has not adequately proven that their newest offerings, including Vista, are NOT in violation of the anti-trust laws.

The states want the restrictions and oversight extended another five years–giving Microsoft the same ten years of oversight that other companies involved in anti-trust settlements are subject to. The states filed motions seeking to extend the restrictions in October.

The Judge in charge, Federal District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, gave Microsoft until 11/6 to respond to the motions. The Justice Department was given until 11/9 to file a brief in support of Microsoft (or not, as the case may be). The states involved in the October filing have until this Friday, 11/16, to respond to Microsoft’s response.

PostHeaderIcon Bank Errors…

“I don’t need to reconcile my account, I click that download button and it does itself.” I hear this from time to time and I just have to shake my head. People always assume that the banks are correct, but this simply is not always the case. I was reminded of this today when I was doing a bank reconciliation for a client. Oh, there’s sometimes an error of $0.50 or so, but this one was $11,000.00 – and NOT in the client’s favor. Ouch! That’s money they earned. If they weren’t reconciling their accounts on a regular basis, this very well may never have been caught. Amazing, right?

Not really. It happens every single day. “Back in the day” it was common because of the human factor, humans entered the data and mistakes were made. Nowadays, it’s mostly done by optical readers or MICR readers if it’s encoded. But the harsh reality is that the technology is not perfect. Mistakes happen.

Bottom line – make sure you are reconciling your accounts and do it monthly, you never know….