Monday, January 10, 2011

The Sincerest Form of Flattery (Update Jan 2011)

I just got a sneak peek at the new City of Dunwoody website. It looks amazingly similar to the current Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce website!!! There could be legal implications to that "similarity" but I'll sit back and take the credit for creating something so usable that other, larger companies want to replicate it. ;-)

I was asked to keep the new City logo confidential, before it is revealed this Saturday evening at the Dunwoody Music Festival.  So for that reason I'm not linking to the new City website page.
But to give you an idea, take a look at the Chamber of Commerce page:

And here's a screenshot with the sensitive parts edited out.

They have lots in common, don't they? 

The company contracted to create the new logo and website is Calvin, Giordano, and Associates out of Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Not exactly Dunwoody natives, but I'll let City Hall explain why they went out of state for this job when there are plenty of developers right here in town capable and willing to do a job for local government.
Evidently, Calvin et al know a good thing when they see it!  Pardon me while I pat myself on the back.

Just got an update. Calvin, Giordano, & Assoc do not have a website department. They do have an employee in their city planning function that creates websites as a hobby. 

It's hard to fault any entity for trying to find the least financially expensive alternative for a job, especially when dealing with taxpayer money.
HOWEVER - the irony is the Dunwoody Economic Development Director Michael Starling (email: is in a job that encourages businesses to start up here and stay here and for customers to buy Dunwoody goods and services.

Off the top of my head I can think of five other website development firms operating inside of city limits who would have been happy to take a government job. I bet they would have been much more creative than just lifting the color and layout scheme that the Chamber of Commerce was already using. The City wants to reap the benefits of a business community, yet to date they will not lead by example.

This partially explains the stolen design/color scheme and the fact that the City Government is trying to force the Chamber of Commerce to change its brand to that of a City department.  By "unifying" the branding the City is trying to show that they are in control of the business community instead of letting them advocate for themselves.  We've got the makings of a very interesting news story here. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What a Way to Start the New Year! Atlanta Snow Storm: Largest Snow Event in Years Expected Sunday Night, Monday - | WXIA | Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Snow Storm: Largest Snow Event in Years Expected Sunday Night, Monday - WXIA Atlanta, GA

So it looks like I'm going to be at my desk on Monday, one way or another! If you have a website project in progress, I'll be able to finish it up on that day. If you have a website project you would like to discuss or get started on, you'll have an easy time reaching me.

January marks the 10th anniversary of SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions' history of creating small business websites and other online communications and marketing solutions. I was working on a somewhat different announcement that didn't have to do with 3 inches of snow in Metro Atlanta (!!!) so I'll get to that later.

For members and others interested in the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce First Monday Networking, keep an eye on the main page at for announcements regarding rescheduling if needed.

Weather closings from Channel 11

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Internet and Your Kids - In Time For Christmas

SDOC is getting ready to go on hiatus for Christmas and the New Year.  But we're not on vacation - I'm working to continue projects in progress and I'm still fielding calls from current and future clients.  But this time of year, parents have to step away from the keyboard and focus on their children.

Some of you out there are buying computers for your kids this year.  I'll be doing the same in just a couple of years myself.  It is neither possible, nor even advisable to avoid teaching the use of technology to children.  It's an essential skill, just like the "Three R's" of a few decades back.  Teaching technology is not just about controlling a mouse or using a keyboard - even touch-typing.  It's also learning about life and how to make good decisions.

Years ago, we learned about "stranger danger" and how not to talk to strangers, how adults should ask for help from other adults, rather than from children, and how you don't take a ride from someone you don't know.  When I was in Kindergarten, we read a book called "Nancy and the Nice Bad Man" which taught a very graphic lesson about what can happen when a child takes a ride from a stranger. 

What makes navigating technology more challenging is that today, the "nice bad man" is coming right into our homes through our computer screens.  The danger is greater because without a physical presence, the threat doesn't seem real:  whether it is bullying, extortion, or even just stealing your login information and wreaking havoc on your Facebook page.  The perp isn't just your neighborhood "Chester" that all the parents warn their children to stay away from.  Perps can come from any city, town, or village on the globe - and they do, if you've gotten any 419 email scams lately.

Most of all, technology is just as new to parents as it is to children and it's constantly changing.  Parents have to learn for themselves not to get burned before they can warn their children, or monitor their online activity.

This week I had the pleasure of making a new acquaintance through my LinkedIn profile (see how easy it is to make contacts and why it's necessary to be careful?!) who runs a blog on Internet safety guidelines for parents.  Mary Kay Hoal is the COO of YourSphere - social networking for kids.  In addition to being a safe place for children to learn about communicating via the internet, the blog section provides some timely news on how to keep your kids safe and to help them avoid content you don't think they are ready for.  Before deciding whether and how much to allow your children to use the Internet, get familiar with some procedures and software to make safety easier to maintain.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
From Adrienne Duncan
Owner, SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions