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WSG Clients Honored as Best of the Capital Region 2010

metroland best of cr 29-coverWe at WSG are proud to congratulate three of our valued clients who were honored by Metroland Newsweekly as Best of the Capital Region for 2010.

Grappa 72 was honored as the “Best New Restaurant.” (WSG was equally honored to create Grappa72.com.)

“Armand and Tia Lule have subtly transformed the old Carmine’s Restaurant in both ambiance and menu, combining the best qualities of traditional Italian and modern elegance. Fresh ingredients like house-cured salmon and crisp greens sparkle, and the wine list begs you to forego the usual California cab for an adventure in zestful Italians.” (Source)

Mark Thomas Men’s Apparel was honored as “Best Men’s Clothing” store. (WSG was equally honored to create MarkThomasMensApparel.com.)

“Mark Goldfarb and Tom Fagan know how to do men’s clothes right. From the minute you walk through the door you feel like your in a an old-world environment that harks back to days of the classic haberdasheries. They carry quality lines such as Pal Zileri, Corneliani and Jack Victor, as well as an amazing collection of sportier clothing, shoes and accessories. Whether you’re just starting your career, running a top law firm or coaching basketball, Mark Thomas will have you looking like a millionaire.” (Source)

Fred Dicker of Talk 1300 AM was honored for hosting the “Best Political Radio Show.” (WSG was equally honored to create Talk1300.com.)

“New York Post state political editor Fred Dicker’s show is a perennial winner. He breaks news, gets interesting (and powerful) guests, and lets the listener know where’s he’s coming from. And his “music Friday” segment, where he plays everything from 1940s pro-Stalinist ditties to 1910s anti-immigrant tunes, is a hoot.” (Source)

We are proud to work with these three clients, and we wish them nothing but continued success.

This Week’s Favorite Links – June 7, 2009

Information Week: Anti-U.S. Hackers Infiltrate Army Servers

We got into the nation’s cyber war capabilities and challenges on the radio last Thursday.  The story about Turkey-based (basted? lol) hackers M0sted infiltrating US Army web servers very much stuck out in my mind.  Not because hacking into a web server is that unique, or even the military element of it.

Most interesting to me was the very common method used to carry out the attack, namely SQL injection.  As described in a comment by InfoWeek user DigitalGrimm on the article linked in our post here:

These ‘hacks’ are easy enough for any person worth their weight to exploit and happen every days to hundreds of web sites. Most likely, judging by the described defacement, these were 90% automated attacks. Furthermore, if the web server is setup correctly (be it Linux, Windows, MAC, BSD, etc) the most the group would have access to is the web site’s database which should have nothing more then information for dynamic content. As I doubt any company would be foolish enough to actually have an externally accessible server to have access to internal only data.

Sorry, but there will be no ‘kudos’ to the ‘hackers’ on this one.

We have seen many sites fall victim to this method of attack, and that an Army-maintained site was vulnerable just emphasizes what another recent Information Week article details quite well: Cybersecurity Review Finds U.S. Networks ‘Not Secure’.

DumbLittleMan.com

This blog is one of my favorite recent discoveries.  Their tag line is Each week we provide a handful of tips that will save you money, increase your productivity, or simply keep you sane” and it has feel similar to LifeHacker.  With posts like “Mono-Task and Work More Effectively” and “How to: Share iTunes Media With All Your Computers” how can you not like it?

Reuters via the New York Times: Facebook Sells 1.96% Stake for $200 Million

According to the story “the stake, sold to Digital Sky Technologies based in London and Moscow, values the social networking site at $10 billion” which should bother you, even if you love Facebook.

Hey – I got on the News!

Sandy Family from the Sanford Financial Group -  who we know from our association with Talk 1300 – invited me to speak at a seminar about how to protect one’s self against identity theft.  The turnout was great – about 80 people came to the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Albany.  My last post on ID theft was written as a reference for the event.

My luck was pretty good that night.  In addition to being fortunate to be included on a panel with the Chief of Colonie Police, a high-profile attorney and a staffer from the State Attorney General’s Office – I got on the local news too.

Beth Wurtman from local NBC affiliatt WNYT asked me to taped some remarks in the hallway during the tail end of the event. I took some ribbing at the office too.  As the TV spot identified me as a “computer expert” – our design staff felt compelled to make stickers (see pic).  Everyone at the WSG offices was wearing one of these stickers when I came in the next day.

Here’s the video:

For Monday’s Appearance on Talk1300.com – How much is your data worth to you?

WSG VP Jim Gile will join Paul Vandendurgh and me on our weekly appearance on Talk1300.  Expect some jokes at my expense.  The hot thing with us at the moment is data backups.  How do you know your data is backed up?  How much is your data worth to you?  Are you using backup tapes, do you have a disaster recovery plan, are you using off-site backups?  What would you do if you lost everything?

This week’s radio appearance on Talk 1300 – Special Appearance by Capital Bank President and CEO Peter Cureau

This week’s appearance on Talk 1300 will feature a special appearance by Capital Bank President and CEO Peter Cureau.  Capital Bank is a locally owned and operated bank with five branches in the Capital Region.   WSG was pleased to design the latest version of CapitalBank.com.

Listen live at Talk1300.com on Monday at 9:05 am, or tune to 1300 AM.

From this week’s radio appearance on Talk 1300 – Your Online Reputation

This week, we received what we believe to be some unfortunate and inaccurate publicity, and it got me thinking and working on reputation management, and online PR.

With a banner headline reading “Survival Mode: businesses pessimistic about ’09” the new edition of the Capital District Business Review article paints an incorrect and incomplete picture of where the Gile Companies are today.  It makes the Gile Companies, of which WSG is a part, appear to be the poster children for small business struggles.  Far from the truth.

But that’s not what was printed, on paper and online.  So what does it mean and what do you do?

In this case, there is a need to set the record straight. While concerned about the current economic climate, the Gile Companies, which includes Gile Office Solutions, web and IT firm WSG.net, GileToys.com and a number of other ventures, is well-positioned to weather the storm and even grow in a down economy.  When people think your business is in trouble, they can easily be less inclined to do business with you.

A news article painting that picture is a problem, as would be unflattering blog postings or comments, chatter in forums, or anything online, where the barrier of publishing is essentially non-existent.  The easier it is to publish content, the more you have to watch it.  This is a little thing called user generated content, or consumer generated media. Wikipedia has a pretty good page on this topic for those who want to drill down into more detail.

Anyone can write anything about anyone, and they don’t even have to put their name behind it.  You must pay attention.  Read Pete Blackshaw’s book
Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000 or Brian Solis’ PR 2.0.

1. Listen and look.  To keep this post to a readable length, look to Lifehacker or ReadWriteWeb for some posts on how to do this.  Google News Alerts, Technorati, Bloglines and may other services can help you do this.

2. React.  Remember that this is about the user’s experience, so try to avoid getting into a spitting contest.  This is customer service.  Hotels do a good job of finding complaint-related content, tracking down the root cause of a guest’s bad experience, and making it right.

3. Be proactive.  Reputation management is quite a broad discipline, and has traditionally been the job of PR firms and departments.  Start asking what your customers think about you, what your employees and investors think about you, and to what degree your company is socially responsible.  How do people view your products and services?

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