Business 101: Home Office Insurance

Published on May 31, 2011   //  Business Topics

Perhaps you run your own home-based business. Maybe you have a telecommuting agreement with your employer. Whatever the case, an increasing number of people are making more and more use of their home offices these days. That also means that more and more people have more and more equipment in their home offices.

The trouble is that many of these people also assume that their home insurance will cover them if something were to happen to this home office equipment. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case and that’s why it is important to consider having appropriate home office insurance. You’d hate to lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of equipment through theft, fire, or natural disaster.

There are a few different ways that you can make sure you are covered. First, you can extend your typical homeowners or renters insurance to cover your home office equipment. This will raise your premium, but then you’ll know that you are covered. Alternatively, you can get a separate business insurance policy or even a specific home office insurance. Check with your insurance agent to see what options you have.

Great Gadgets: HTC Flyer Android Tablet

Published on May 30, 2011   //  Gadgets

Great Gadgets: HTC Flyer Android Tablet

The idea of having a tablet device certainly isn’t new. They’ve been in use for years in a number of different industries, but tablets have certainly risen to the mainstream thanks largely to the popularity of the iPad. However, 2011 is seeing many fantastic Android tablets that could really give Apple a run for its money. One such example is the HTC Flyer.

Unlike many other newer Android tablets that are running on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), the HTC Flyer uses a special build of Android 2.4 (Gingerbread). Some time in the future, though, HTC is promising that the Flyer can be upgraded to the more tablet-centric Honeycomb version of Android.

As far as the main specifications go, you can expect to see a 7-inch display (1024 x 600) on the HTC Flyer. This makes it the same size as a BlackBerry PlayBook or Samsung Galaxy Tab. It is powered with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, along with 32GB of storage, wireless connectivity, 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, and a tablet optimized version of the HTC Sense user interface.

The WiFi-only version of the HTC Flyer Android tablet will reportedly sell for $499, though that price does not include the special $80 capacitive stylus accessory. A model with HSPA+ is also being offered.

BlueFur Customer of the Week: OTL Catering

Published on May 29, 2011   //  BlueFur Customer of the Week

Art can take on many different forms. Some people turn to music. Others turn to painting. And then there is the art that fills up your stomach. For that, you may be interested to learn about OTL Catering, the site that serves as the BlueFur customer of the week.

This catering company is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia and is available to cater a wide range of different events. In fact, OTL — which stands for Out to Lunch — can even help you with the event planning process itself, as well as provide service staff, help with rentals, and more. To see the kind of food available through OTL, have a look at the menus posted on their website.

Just as much as food is nourishment, it is also a great work of art. To see the kind of art that OTL Catering creates, you can have a look at the picture gallery on their sites too. They have images of their breakfast ideas, desserts, tapas, platters, and sandwiches, as well as the cooking classes that they offer through Out to Lunch Catering as well.

Do you use BlueFur to host your websites? Let us know and we can feature you in a future blog post. Send an email message to blogfeature@bluefur.com with your name, website URL, and a brief description of what you’d like to see highlighted.

Showcase Saturday: Retro-Fitted Theme

Published on May 28, 2011   //  Showcase Saturday

There are all sorts of different WordPress themes to suit all sorts of different types of websites. For people who would rather abstain from themes that look too modern or futuristic, a possible solution is the Retro-Fitted theme. As its name implies, this theme definitely caters toward those who would like more of a retro feel.

That’s not to say that this theme is lacking in any of the most current features that you can find with other WordPress themes. It actually boasts a very clean and easy-to-follow design that would work with any number of different niches, industries, and topic areas. The visuals appeal to the eye.

Along the top of the theme is the name of the site, along with its tagline, and next to that is the usual WordPress navigation menu. The theme supports many different widget areas and it allows for per-post layouts as well. The theme can be configured to have one, two, or three columns, depending on your preferences.

Check out the page on Theme Hybrid for more information on Retro-fitted, as that is the site of the theme’s designer. It is there that you can download and demo the theme, but you can also download it through the WordPress Theme Directory too.

In The Sphere: Money, Realism, and Sleep

Published on May 27, 2011   //  In the Sphere

What did the blogosphere have to share this week? Let’s have a look.

Scott H. Young starts us off with a very interesting story about Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Could you have walked away from $8 million in easy money? Because that’s exactly what Hsieh did after selling his first company to Microsoft. Instead of taking on an $8 million annual salary to help with the transition, he left after three months to eventually build (and sell) Zappos.

Marc from Web Urbanist has some stunning pictures for us to consider. Despite how they may look, they are not photographs. When you have art that is this extremely realistic without being actual photographs, you really have to start to question what your eyes are seeing! These images are positively unbelievable and you should definitely check them out.

Darrell Etherington has some very simple advice for those of us who are having trouble falling asleep at night: stop taking your iPhone to bed. Incredibly, 61% of those surveyed by iPass reported that they bring their cell phones with them to the bedroom and this could be indicative of our obsession with communication. Does the radiation or bright screen have anything to do with sleeplessness too?

Bob Buskirk is broadening his online portfolio with the official launch of his Pittsburgh Bucket List website. As its name implies, the site is focused on developing (and hopefully tracking) a bucket list specific to the city of Pittsburgh. Bob has no intention of leaving his town just yet, but the mindset for the site is for someone leaving Pittsburgh in precisely one year’s time.

Sean D’Souza demonstrates the importance of writing effective article headlines and how adding a few measly words can make a world of difference. It helps to make your headline specific (rather than vague), but perhaps more importantly, these few measly words can spark a level of interest that cannot be matched by simpler and shorter headlines.

Marketing 101: The Rise of the Pop-Under

Published on May 26, 2011   //  Marketing Tips

In my journeys on the Internet, I am of course bombarded by all sorts of advertising. You see the usual text-based ads that someone might place in their blog posts or along the sidebar of their sites. You see banner ads sprawled across the top and the bottom. You see affiliate links interspersed among the core content.

While the phenomenon certainly isn’t new, I have seen an increase in the usage of something called pop-under ads. These function in much the same way as the pop-over ad, except the new window is opened behind the current browser window rather than on top of it. That’s why it is called a pop-under; the window “pops under” whatever the user is currently viewing.

The rationale here is that a pop-under is not as intrusive as a pop-over, since the site visitor can continue to browse the site that they’d actually like to see. Pop-unders are likely more likely to be seen, because pop-overs can oftentimes be closed immediately upon opening. The pop-under, on the other hand, can linger in the background until the user closes the current window.

Is this effective? It really depends on how you choose to use this mechanism, the kind of landing page that you use as your pop-under ad, and the effectiveness of your ad targeting. There are many ad networks that now offer pop-unders, so you may want to consider adding them to your marketing mix.

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