What's NEXT

Maintenance Windows 101

We often get asked what are the maintenance windows we schedule and what gets done during those updates. Here’s an overview of what happens and why.

Changing configurations on network equipment

Any time the configuration of a router, switch, or firewall is modified, there is the potential that network traffic could be interrupted. Any changes, upgrades, or updates that could potentially affect network traffic are made during a maintenance window.

Improve your search engine ranking for free

Each week I receive emails from self-proclaimed SEO "experts" (most often strange names with Gmail addresses) who claim they can move our website to the top of Google or Bing. I'm sure you receive these too. But you and I both know if they COULD work this miracle, they'd move their own website to the number one position, and they wouldn't have to be soliciting business using SPAM.

The truth is, there's no magic formula or overnight tool for improving your search engine placement, but here are a few no-cost tips that will help:

Don't Make Jokes on Your Website - No Kidding!

The Union Street Guest House, a historic hotel in Hudson, New York recently learned a painful lesson about making jokes on the web. The hotel alleges that a policy it posted on its website - threatening to charge any guest $500 if they make a bad review - was only meant "tongue-in-cheek," but many didn't find the humor.  The following article by Rajeev Dhir was published by Newsday.com on August 4:

The Union Street Guest House, a small boutique hotel in Hudson, NY, is threatening to charge guests for posting negative reviews online is facing a backlash.

High Costs, Low Returns from your FindLaw Website

It sounds good when a trusted resource tells you how to attract new clients through the internet.  As a professional, your time is valuable and should be spent working for your clients. Sign a long term contract and FindLaw will provide you with a website and more importantly, drive traffic through a FindLaw profile and any directory placements on their site.

The Heartbleed SSL bug in the news

You may have heard about the recently announced Heartbleed Bug that affects the OpenSSL cryptographic software library: an important component of the security infrastructure of the Internet.  This bug makes it possible for encrypted information (such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and the encryption keys themselves) to be captured.  This is a threat that should be taken seriously, and U.S.NEXT is taking immediate steps to protect our customers by ensuring that our systems are running non-vulnerable versions of this software. 

Practicing What We Preach

We continually tell our clients about the importance of keeping their website looking current and up-to-date, because most likely more people see their website – their virtual “door front” – than their physical door front each day.   We’ve known for over a year that we need to practice what we preach, but like the cobbler’s children, we’ve been putting our client sites ahead of our own.

The Power of the Internet

Just over a week ago, my daughter came home with a letter about a Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser for the American Heart Association at her school and an envelope for donations. In looking at the envelope, I saw a place to sign up to accept online donations.  I signed up that night intending to send out the link the next day.

What to Consider When Considering the Cloud

Deciding whether to move applications and databases to cloud technology is not an easy decision. Here’s an excellent recent article by Nathan McNeill entitled “To Cloud or Not to Cloud? The Answer Is Not Binary” about factors you should consider:

Anyone who has worked in technology for any length of time knows that computers are really only as smart as the people utilizing them. In fact, quite a lot of the work in computer science today is attempting to impart to computers the human ability of dealing with ambiguity.


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