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Web Hosting Newsletter Fall 2007!

September NewsletterNewsletters – who doesn’t love ’em? Sure sometimes they can be annoying; plugging up your inbox with excessively used exclamation points and distracting graphics, but behind their razzle dazzle exterior lies some truly awesome tips, tricks, info, resources and even coupons (I recommend becoming a member of the DQ Blizzard Club – excellent coupons) that are designed to make your life a little easier/better/less lame in general.

We are so excited about our very first newsletter and we hope you are too. This is an opportunity for us keep you current on all things web hosting; technology news, exciting promotions, contests, freebies and more! This month’s newsletter features information about our partnership with Google AdWords, helpful traffic tips and the details of our awesome web design contest.

So check out our September 2007 Newsletter and while your at it, check out our newsletter archive too!

Online Marketing and Advertising

Online AdvertisingThe world of online marketing and advertising is a new and evolving place that few people – if any – truly understand. Whether you are trying to opt for podcast marketing (by producing top-rate podcasts with the help of firms like Caspian Studios) or content marketing, or social media marketing, it is always nice to seek the help of experts.

Likewise, it would be the same for this–whether you are trying to optimize your site’s content (to reach more customers and gain more popularity on the Internet) for search engines (SEO), trying to increase your site’s exposure through less conventional below the line or viral marketing campaigns, or simply trying to get Google, Yahoo!, and MSN/Live to index your site, unless you are one of the more savvy individuals on the web, it’s nice to have help from the professionals.

However, it cannot be denied that physical marketing, where people can interact with professionals, see products, and test them, always draws more attention. Digital marketing has made it simple to promote a brand on social networking sites, which is also quite cost-effective, but awesome trade show displays, booth displays, and so on, tend to hold a different place entirely. When people physically touch something, they always remember it; however, on digital platforms, there are so many advertisements that it is quite possible for them to forget even the brand names.

Trade shows are typically inexpensive ways to market brands and sell products. Though they might not work for businesses like an optometry clinic that either may have to use billboards for advertisement or indulge in digital marketing strategies. Moreover, they can also look for medical organizations that could provide optometry marketing support for such businesses. As for businesses opting for conventional marketing, a simple booth, some technological accessories, and selling charm could be a few inexpensive ways to get small brands on the market. They aim to provide businesses with a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with their potential and current customers.

Apart from that, many businesses promote themselves using classic neon signs in various styles by hanging them outside their restaurants or bars, such as those in Los Angeles. It tends to draw customers’ attention and entice them to try the restaurant. In fact, many advertising agencies use them on billboards to promote other businesses. And it works quite a lot in attracting people.

Anyway, coming back to online marketing, one of our partners, SEOMoz, is a great resource for this type of thing, but don’t take our word for it. SEOMoz has been recognized by Advertising Age as one of the top media and marketing blogs. AdAge’s Power 150 is a ranking of the top English-language media and marketing blogs in the world. The sites listed in the Power 150 represent an almost unending wealth of knowledge for marketing and advertising on the Internet, and although it doesn’t guarantee your website success, it definitely helps you take a step in the right direction.

For the traditional or mainstream marketer, I do post this with a word of caution. Rather, I post it with Steve Rubel‘s words:

It’s very difficult for anyone in marketing to keep up with all the twists [in] the digital space because technology changes so darn fast. It’s like chasing a cheetah. Most marketers – be they clients or agency side – are heads-down running their business. Therefore, companies are creating a new role. They’re hiring people who act as translators between the ultra geeks and the marketers…

Remember, to achieve that next-level of success, it may require employing a professional who eats, sleeps, and breaths online marketing and advertising, espcially if your small/medium enterprise is going head to head with a well established (perhaps even multi-national) corporation.

Head towards the Silverlight

Microsoft Silverlight logoMicrosoft’s Silverlight is to websites and web development as the iPhone is to cellphones and PDAs. There it is, I’ve said it.

Many commentators have focussed heavily on Microsoft’s battle for OOXML (Open XML) and the threat of online-based office application suites like Google Docs & Spreadsheets. These are, of course, important, but I would guess that there is a bigger story lurking somewhere under the water.

Regarding the recent release of Silverlight, Industry heavyweight Michael Arrington said it makes Flash/Flex look like an absolute toy, while fellow Tech blogger Pete Cashmore points to this demo of Silverlight in action, adding that it looks amazing and is great news for consumers. Another example of Silverlight in action is Microsoft’s search engine, Tafiti.

Similar to my thoughts on the iPhone, Silverlight is not going to change the world, however, like the iPhone, it has opened up the door to new possibilities. Silverlight is a cross platform, cross browser plug-in that will deliver next generation Internet applications and user experiences. It has been deeply incorporated into the software-as-a-service offering, and the significance of that partnership should not be ignored. Microsoft has an amazing vision, and a unique ability to take seemingly unrelated, individual tools and have them work more effectively in tandem. It shouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination that, with Silverlight, Office, and OOXML, Microsoft is laying the foundation for an online-based suite of office applications that run on the Silverlight platform. Having seen significant growth from the latest installment of Office (Office 2007), this would seem like the obvious next step in development, and a perfect way to help promote adoption of Silverlight while fending off attacks from companies, like Google, trying to cut into Microsoft’s $16Billion a year (Microsoft Business Division) bread and butter, Microsoft Office.

Regardless of that prediction, Silverlight is as important to web development and the online community as the iPhone has been to cellphones and PDAs.

Grid Computing – Hype or Next Generation of Hosting?

Everywhere you turn, people are talking about the latest trend in the hosting industry; grid computing. For those who have yet to hear about it, grid hosting is neither new or is it anything radically different; it is simply using server clusters to deploy enterprise level hosting.

Much fanfare has erupted especially over the likes of Media Temple, Amazon’s EC2, Rackspace’s Mosso and ServePath’s UtilityServe plus other newer entrants such as Netfirms, Concentric, and soon Superb Internet have resulted in a plethora of new grid computing offerings. Now that 3Tera has entered the ring with its new grid computing platform for other hosting companies, watch for this to become a hotly contested marketplace, with all the accompanying price wars and extravagant offerings.

Still, is this hype or is this the next generation of hosting? Actually it is neither; it is simply proven technology that has been thrust into the limelight by marketers and media alike.  With TechCrunch leading the way, eulogizing the power of grid computing and Amazon throwing its entire might behind its Elastic Compute Cloud  (EC2), it did not take long for an abundance of enthusiastic techno buffs to line up for the next evolution, unaware that this is more about who is providing the hosting, what sort of infrastructure does the company have in place and most of all, will it work for them.

A great example of this often being about technology acolytes who are blindly embracing the latest craze in deployment is EC2. Now do not get me wrong; EC2 definitely has got buzz and for some, it will be the right move – but not everybody. Most of all, it can really rack up your spend if you are not careful.  Still for those who are just starting out or up and want the ability to scale up quickly yet do not pay until they need it (always good to be careful with startup capital), EC2 works. Also if your content is important then you might want to think about looking else. Amazon does not guarantee that whenever you restart it, that it will necessarily be recovered.

As for it being cheap, well definitely there are some strong opinions on this. One of them is found at HostingFuAmazon Web Service is Expensive. Shane Conder’s “How Did I Miss Amazon EC2? is a good read about the comparison of EC2 to other types of hosting. Finally Jason Hoffman of Joyent has an excellent opinion called Why EC2 isn’t yet a platform for “normal” web applications?

Then there is MediaTemple. Talk about buzz. If having your name touted translated directly into $, MediaTemple would never even have to sell a single account. Yet like many things, there often exists a gap between the hype and reality. True MediaTemple has brought grid hosting into the limelight, and certainly everyone cannot be wrong. Still if more had been put into infrastructure and less into buzz, customers would be happier. Do a search on WebHostingTalk and you are sure to find numerous complaints regarding downtime and dependability issues. That said, MediaTemple, is sure to grow up and get things right. Already I am hearing more good than bad, so who knows.

Bottomline, grid computing is here to stay. We will soon launch our own grid hosting platform, code-named “Grid Iron” but when we do, it will be built on the foundation of our rock solid network, industry-leading experience and most importantly, with our customers in mind.

The iPhone iMpact

Apple’s iPhoneIn the last year, there have been a suprising number of events, acquisitions, and releases that have taken a lot of the buzz in the Internet/Technology Industry. Facebook is huge, Google is always making headlines, and Microsoft and Yahoo! continue to be dominant players in the arena, but leave it to Steve Jobs and the rest of the Apple gang down in Cupertino to make the biggest ripple in the pond. I was reading an article by Todd Abrams, COO and President of Layered Technologies, on the Invasion of the iPhone, and he makes some great points about the device.

I’ll touch on two of the points he makes – one, is the great job from the marketing side, and two, to date I have not been convinced how it will change the world. Todd talks about the way Apple’s marketing has combined the 5 c’s – Connection, Communication, Content, Commerce, Colloboration and adds a 6th C, coolness. Much like the iPod, Apple has found a way to convince popular culture that the iPod iPhone is exactly what they need in a next generation handheld. Having had the chance to play with an iPhone a bit (which is suprisingly tough being in Canada), the usability and interface is impressive, but I’m still not caught up in the hype. And although I don’t think the iPhone will change the world, I think it has offered an important step in change.

One aspect of the iPhone that impresses me is the agressive risk (or innovation) that was taken with regards to usability. The touch screen interface, although not completely ideal for all uses (like texting under the table at a meeting), has opened up the door to new possibilities. Scrolling through webpages or images and zooming in and out is just the beginning, and slowly we will see a variety of mobile applications start to take advantage of these new navigation options.

I have to agree with Todd Abrams, I haven’t been convinced that the iPhone will let me do my job more efficiently or effectively, but I think it’s going to change the mobile world.

Welcome to Superb Hosting’s Blog!

Welcome to Superb Hosting’s Official Company Blog!

We’ll start with the basics. For more information about Superb Hosting, please check out the About Superb Hosting page on this blog, or go to our main website, As one of the oldest and most respected hosting companies in the business, we are always trying to make things better; better pricing and packages, better support and service, and better hardware and technology are what help keep us ‘Ahead of the Rest‘. ®

With an estimated 70% of companies making their mark on the blogosphere, corporate blogs are anything but new. Look for new products and service announcements (or the end of old ones), a listing of current promotions, and articles from Industry professionals. Please send us your comments and suggestions – we want to know how to make this better for you!

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