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Me. Woodward Park, Fresno, CA. January 2016.

My favorite pic of me that's sort of recent-ish. (No, you aren't lost. As of June 1, 2020, DoreenTraylor.com redirects here.)
Recent posts

What's in a (Business) Name?

People often stress about picking a business name, especially if they are new to doing business. On the one hand, that's not unreasonable. On the other hand, you really shouldn't overthink it at this stage. First, An Anecdote I worked at Aflac for a few years. I've never personally tripped across an official telling of this story anywhere, though I have tried to tell it on various blogs (probably all redacted) and in forum comments.

Aflac's actual name is American Family Life Assurance Company. Aflac is really an acronym for their legal name.

So it's sort of like going by your initials or a nickname. Everyone knows Bill is short for William, so no one acts like you are trying to fool people or deceive them if you introduce yourself as Bill and go by that name socially, even though your bank account says William

They were originally incorporated under the name American Family Life Insurance Company. According to stories I heard internally while I worked ther…

Merged

Until a few days ago, this site -- doreenmichele.blogspot.com -- was my personal blog and I had a separate site at DoreenTraylor.com that I thought of as my professional site where I had information on how to hire me to do resume work and the like. About three days ago, I fairly spontaneously redacted all the personal blog posts from this site and set about merging the two sites into one.

Now, DoreenTraylor.com redirects here. Most of the content was moved over from the other site. The only content I kept from my personal blog were the pages called Me, My Websites and References.

I also took design elements from both. I kept the pink and white template from my personal blog but added a pinned (permanent) Featured Post with the same photo from the other site. I also substantially edited a lot of the content from both sites to make everything more polished.


DoreenTraylor.com


Updated DoreenMichele.blogspot.com

I have no idea if I will end up making a new personal blog elsewhere, b…

Images in Different Parts of Four Blogspot Themes

The four newest BlogSpot themes are: Contempo, Soho, Emporio and Notable. Unlike previous themes, they are mobile optimized, so I no longer use the older themes.

You can just use a default design package, but you can also easily insert an image of your choosing to customize your site. You can add your own image in a variety ways, such as in place of the Background, in an Image Widget or behind the Header.


My sample Image for this post

For simplicity's sake, all these screenshots are from a desktop PC. I am not including any screenshots from a smartphone. But if you are doing design work, always check both anytime you change anything.

Contempo
The background image for this theme is placed behind the header. The samples below are the second version of Contempo.


Blogger Admin Panel


Default


With sample background image


Using an Image widget above posts instead of a Background image


As a Header background image


Header background image paired with the default Background Soho
This is th…

You Need A Proper Email List

If you aren't very internet savvy and you are putting together a list of email addresses in order to keep people in the loop about something, you might think "I'll just add everyone's email to the To: field." Or, worse, you might decide to BCC a bunch of folks to help protect their privacy so you aren't sharing everyone's email address with everyone else. For the sake of convenience, you may also be adding attachments to these emails.

These practices can get your email flagged as spam. It can also result in your email address being blacklisted.

Adding attachments is not only a red flag that you might be a spammer who should be blacklisted, it also increases the risk of spreading viruses and malware. It is a best practice to not routinely use attachments. Training people to open attachments from just anywhere is potentially training them to open malware.

If you send something to a bad email address and it doesn't go through, you will get a…

You Can't Get Paid If They Can't Find Your Payment Info

Most of my earned income is made on the internet. I do some website work for local clients in the small town where I live, but most of it comes from resume editing, freelance writing and blogging and all of that gets done online.

Trying to monetize creative work online, like blogging, is a constant challenge. One of the biggest stumbling blocks I keep running into is just trying to make it easy for people to give me money.

It's surprisingly hard to make sure people can readily find that information.

This post was written because I had someone email me and tell me they couldn't find that information ANYWHERE. They had looked!

I verified my payment info for them and asked which of my many websites they had been on while looking for that information and they said it was my personal blog. I thought it was very prominently displayed on my personal blog.

Well, maybe if you are on a PC with a big screen. Not so much if you are on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

They were on a…

Pivoting a Website

The website Aberdeen Art and Music began as an effort to consolidate three older websites into a single website for purposes of trying to create a local walking tour as a tourist asset for this small town. It later took on a new purpose and I was tasked with updating the site to preserve and enhance the existing purpose while making room for new functions.

The older websites were static sites that each corresponded to a printed brochure. The brochures and corresponding original websites were logically categorized by type of art: Murals, Critters and Urban Art (mostly sculpture).

But much of this art can be found in close proximity in the downtown area, so I wanted to consolidate that information and enhance it to serve as an economic development tool for this small town. The intent was to support a walking tour via smartphone and begin phasing out the printed brochures while still supporting the existing brochures that were still out there and had the old URLs on them.

In suppo…

A Lean, (Ever)Green Machine: Website Tips for Small Shops

I've been making little websites to serve up information on various topics for close to two decades. I'm basically a one-woman shop, so my websites have to be lean, evergreen, low cost and low maintenance to make any sense at all.

I currently live in a small town and I sometimes attend public meetings where people are enamored of shiny tech but don't know how to use it. They get all envious of projects and talk in glowing terms about "Wouldn't it be GREAT if we did something like that?!" and I bite my tongue and don't say "You have no idea what on earth you are talking about. You have neither the resources nor the expertise to do a project like that."

Those experiences inspired me to write this post. I would love to help people in the small town where I live to establish an effective web presence, but I really am going to need to do a lot of educating if that is ever going to happen.

Most locals have no idea how to make a website that…