Email Friend and Foe

emailing since 1993

Email, A Friend and a Foe

Email or electronic mail as it was originally called has been around since 1993. Personally, I remember getting my brand new Hotmail account in the mid 90’s chesco1@hotmail.com, which I still check by the way. I had to add the number 1 at the end because someone had already beat me to chesco@hotmail.com. This brings me to the reason for this post. If you are like me then you probably have a bunch of email accounts you collected this way over the years or maybe you used the “trash email account” strategy, which is the one where you open an email account for the sole purpose of directing all the spam or unwanted email to. However, the main reason to open an email account remains being that is a great way to communicate.

 

Friend

Remember those days when you had to wait for a FAX to come through or wait for the traditional mail for a document you can get in minutes or even seconds via email if you have a good email service? I remember. That is one of the reasons I think email is a viable tool for communication and to conduct business. Aside from the speed factor (a positive), you can also share files or important documents with peace of mind that your intended recipient will get your message when they are in front of the computer or on their phone and reply to let you knowing they received your message. Business moves a little quicker this way.

 

Another positive characteristic is the accountability element. Throughout the trajectory of an email, there are timestamps that record the status of all emails. For example, if you send an email out, your email server puts a timestamp when your email get sent out, when the email reaches its recipient(s) inbox and when the email is read. When the recipient replies the whole cycle repeats. You might be asking why this whole process is a good thing? From my experience working in the construction industry, there is a lot of hearsay when projects or schedules go South. In more than one occasion I was able to present emails to corroborate that I did all I could have done to make sure things moved along as they were supposed to, but now everyone did the same. Email is also a great records keeper. Have you ever had to look up emails from a year ago? If your server is backed up correctly, you will find those email from a year ago.

 

Foe

Not everything revolving around email is good or positive. You might have noticed that I mentioned a few “ifs” on the previous paragraphs. This is because email is not in one central system, so it is difficult to keep all files intact through your devices and computers, ergo the necessity of throwing in those conditions. Servers need to be running properly on the sender’s side and the recipient’s side to ensure a message makes it across. Also, all messages received and sent have to be properly backed up and archived to allow for their retrieval at a later time. This creates costs for maintenance.

 

Another not so positive fact, is the risk we take by using email is that one of your email accounts could get hacked if one the security measures implemented on the email server(s) are not up to par. If your email gets hacked, the people behind it could have access to more than your email account. This could be bad. Having your email accounts spread out throughout the web can also be challenging. Logging in to a bunch of different sites to check your email, is no fun.

 

I did not take the time to count, but off the top of my head I have anywhere from 10 to 15 email accounts, which often deliver important information, so I’m forced to constantly check all of them.  Having to stay up to date with all my email is the biggest challenge in my opinion.

 

Now what?

 

Over the years I learned (probably the hard way) that having to check each of my email accounts at each of their portals was not going to cut it. I was going to Yahoo.com to check my yahoo email account, to Hotmail.com to check my Hotmail account and so forth. What has worked the best of me is to setup all my email accounts in one place, let me go into details. On my desktop at home I setup all the email accounts that are still active. Outlook is a life saver if I may say so. On mac laptop, I also have all those accounts, although I like Outlook very much I have not been able to find another email client better that the Mail application that comes with your mac. The capability to combine all the inboxes from different email accounts and combine them into one is the bar none, the best feature for email. This way I’m able to see every email that comes in with the certainty no important email will be missed. Next are my phone and tablet, on these, my configuration is a little different. On these devices, I only configure the email accounts that constantly need to be checking, work email and/or time sensitive email accounts.

This might not work for everyone, but I still felt the urge to share this with you and I’m sure it will be useful to some.

Why construction companies should have a killer website.

Many construction companies are jumping into the online world. This is a huge deal for many who are switching from conventional face to face conversations and onto the online world. Nothing wrong with the traditional face to face communication. Has time goes on your business will grow and so will your audience. Developing an online presence requires a few key factors to take in consideration then just building a simple static website. Here is a listing to keep in mind when developing your online presence.

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Customers on the go (mobile)

More searches are taking places on mobile devices than on desktop. This insightful information indicates that your website better function well on small screen devices. If you are looking into downloading a website template, make sure that the template indicates that its ‘responsive’. Take the time to implement a responsive website, or you will be losing all that mobile traffic.

 

 

Make a lasting first impression

Just like anyone walking into a store for the first time. The customer is going to walk and try to figure out exactly what your store is about. The same goes for your online presence, typically a user spends about 15 seconds skimming your site to find exactly what they are looking for. Making your website appealing to the eye is a great benefit in capturing users to stick around your website. By putting in the time to understand your audience you would be investing in your business. Do a few A/B testing using different designs, getting creative. Make sure you leave a lasting first impression to your users.

Build it right the first time and it will save you time and money in the long run

If you put together a website on your own that came out sub-par.  Later down the road you may want to make changes and it will usually take longer to make the changes then starting with a blank slate. Keep in mind that you want to redirect your pages properly so you don’t lose page rank (SEO). This can be a frustrating process. But don’t be shy to ask someone for help that can guide you in building a killer website.

Fitness Tips for the Sitting Office Worker

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We can often get in the zone when working on a project and it can be tempting to stick to it for fear of breaking momentum. I myself as a web developer for Edifica run into these situations. If you find yourself in these conditions, it can be an uphill struggle to regain or keep your body in good health. Here are a few of my pointers that can assist you to sustain and gain a healthy work style.

 

  • Give yourself 15 minutes to stretch your body. I recommend this one as soon as you get out of bed.
  • Drink lots of water and limit sugary drinks. I carry a water bottle everywhere I go.
  • Walk as much as possible. If there is an opportunity to walk, do it!
  • Move while you are sitting to keep your back active.

Here are other useful online resource that can provide helpful health and fitness tips for the daily office worker.

Health & Fitness Tips:

 

Tackling the Skilled Labor Issue

It feels good to say that things are finally turning for the better in the construction industry. For years contractors were struggling to find work and they secured a contract it was normally out of town work, all this due to the recession.  The uncertainty plaguing construction workers was bearing down on them, not knowing whether they would be working the following week or in some cases the following day discouraged a lot of them to stick around and wait it out. Some of them relocated, others found work in another industry other than the construction field. Even if they earned less they preferred that smaller but, steady paycheck. Fast forward to 2015 and economy started to pick up along with the amount of work available to contractors in the construction industry. Although things were better in that, there was another issue arising. The labor pool had significantly shrunk. For years there was no apprenticeship system on the various construction trades and a lot of the journeymen were nowhere to be found. This presented great problem for small construction companies.

laborfindr logo

Today, this skilled labor issue still exists. For a few months now, the team here at Edifica has been working on a project to help with this transition. We are calling this solution laborfindr.com. It is a simple to register and use web application which will help connect employers with the sought out labor needed to complete projects on time. The way it works is simple. If you are a contractor looking for workers for a certain job, you sign up at no charge and post your job listing the type of skill you are requiring for that job. At this point laborfindr.com will search through its database to find matching job seekers and they will be provided with the contact information you opted to share with them to get in touch. Matching job seekers will then be notified of a new matching job. We could not have made that process any simpler, believe me we tried. Here at Edifica, we wanted to contribute to our community and we developed laborfindr.com as way to give back to our growing community and audience. As any other young endeavor there are features that need to be added to laborfindr.com and others which will need to be refined, but we truly do believe this will be a practical and useful tool for many out there. All feedback is welcome and in fact we encourage our users to let us know what they think of the product.