Tag Archives: website

No Daddy to GoDaddy

June 28, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Dusty Davidson doesn’t like to go negative in promoting his company. Still, sometimes your company exists in part because somebody else is dropping the ball. So, let’s get this out of the way…

“Nobody loves their [web] hosting company,” Davidson says. “A lot of them can feel like a necessary evil.” In particular: “GoDaddy.com can have the Super Bowl ads with girls in bikinis and all. But the personal service isn’t there. We want everything we do focused on giving people a great experience and superior product.”

Davidson, like anyone else in the hosting world, can’t help but be envious of the traction GoDaddy.com got from spending millions for those racy bust bonanzas a few years ago. We all know the brand now. GoDaddy.com is, especially for those of us who are tech knuckleheads, the knee-jerk, go-to source when we want to get our own personal or startup company website.

But serious website designers, Davidson says, need more from their host. To the rescue comes the Omaha tech startup company, Flywheel, which Davidson owns and operates with two partners.

All three of the young entrepreneurs come from backgrounds in web design and hosting. All three, Davidson says, had suffered impersonal, often clumsy and ill-fitted hosting experiences. They believed they could do better.  

“We provide a better overall hosting environment for design firms,” he says. “We’re incredibly fast and incredibly secure. Most of all: It starts with great support. We are right there with the designers at all times. We make the workflow of the designer easier.”

Flywheel began in 2012 as a startup in the Mastercraft Building in North Downtown. Now the 12-employee operation is graduating to its own space on the edge of the Old Market at 14th and Harney.

They will eschew risqué ads, Davidson says, building instead through social media sources and, most of all, word-of-mouth within the design community.

“Designers talk to each other,” he says. “You provide a great experience, word gets out fast.” 



January 4, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

We’ve found that many business websites are built solely to impress the business owner,” says Troy Peterson, co-founder of Localmize, a division of Omaha Marketing Solutions. “All too often, the focus is more on design appeal than building a site that’s effective at attracting new customers.”

So Localmize is a web design firm, yes, but one with the experience to design an attractive site with search engines in mind. “We have extensive background in marketing, user interface design, and search engine optimization,” Peterson explains. “So in every website we design, it’s these key components that drive the development. We’re helping you create not just a website but a revenue-generating or lead-generating machine.”

With clients in over 15 states, Localmize has helped businesses in a variety of industries. Landscapers, attorneys, retirement communities, med spas, and home improvement contractors have all benefited from its SEO expertise. “Our products are unique,” Peterson says, “because they focus on our clients’ overall online presence and getting them found online.” It’s critical, he explains, that local businesses are found accurately whenever and wherever consumers are looking for them. “It is always our goal to improve our clients’ online presence by ensuring their business is represented accurately and consistently.

“We’ve grown pretty organically,” Peterson reflects. “We build trust by delivering results, and that leads to strong relationships and referrals.”

Of course, that growth also has to be due to the hard-working Localmize team.  “I’m sure many small business owners would say, ‘We have a small, strong team that works well together and feels like a family,’ so it might seem a little clichéd,” Peterson says, “but honestly it’s rather true.” While each member of the team offers a personal focus on their specific talents, they all rely on each other to make the whole project work. “Our team is friendly, creative, and professional, which is why I think our client relationships are so strong.” But there’s more to retaining clients than just having solid relationships. “We constantly put ourselves in our client’s shoes and solve problems in ways that provide real results. We’re never afraid to prove ourselves to our clients.”

3730 S 149th St.,  Ste. #103
Omaha, NE 68144



Dating Over 60

August 28, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Jim Hanson peruses a sea of online profiles, hoping to find his match. What sets this self-professed Renaissance man apart from thousands of other men doing the same exact thing? His age: 65. At a time in life when most people his age are thinking of retirement and mutual funds, he is looking for love.

After being happily married for 33 years, Hanson, a widower, found himself in a position understood by many of his generation: He was alone. Never one to give up, he has tirelessly searched for the right person for the last seven years. “I have met a lot of neat people in that time,” he says. “The main thing I noticed that’s different dating now than then [in his 20s] is people have twice the baggage.” He explains that there are two groups of people he has encountered on his quest: widows and divorcees. “The thing about baggage is you gotta find someone to help you unpack it.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people 65 and over make up 13.9 percent of Nebraska’s population. Many local seniors are experiencing being single again after the death or divorce of a spouse. Plenty are turning to online dating sites to meet other people.

This was the case for Linda Knapp. “It is really difficult to meet people,” she admits. Despite the fact that she owns her own business and interacts with countless people both socially and professionally, the 66-year-old has not dated much in the last year and a half. “I don’t like going to bars. It’s difficult to find a venue to meet people of my generation.” Like many, she turned to online dating. After a couple of bad experiences, she decided it wasn’t for her.

“The thing about baggage is you gotta find someone to help you unpack it.” – Jim Hanson

Karen Larson doesn’t look at seniors dating as any different from the younger generations. “No matter what age, it’s difficult to meet people.” Which is why the local 56-year-old started organizing meetup groups on Plenty of Fish, an online dating forum, to help people get out there and meet new people. “I like to host in small venues so people can actually get a chance to talk,” she says adding, “It’s a safe environment where people can meet.” According to her, a safe environment is what women want. “Many women from my generation have never walked into a bar by themselves.” She will meet up with people and help ease their anxiety, acting as a modern-day matchmaker.

“I have success stories,” she says. One woman who was nervous about attending a meet-and-greet that Karen organized found her special someone after attending the gatherings for a few months.

“Everyone has baggage,” Larson says, echoing Hanson. “I don’t even like to look at it as baggage. I think of it as experiences that shape who you are. It can be positive or negative. Just like your past experiences, dating can be the same way, depending on how you look at it. It’s a scary adventure. People don’t want to be taken. There are those who play games and want to play with your heart. You have to discern the difference. One sign? Can the person describe their past without extreme emotion? Without anger or sadness? If not, they aren’t ready to date again.”

“The way I see it, it’s a numbers game,” Hanson says with the zeal of a pep squad cheerleader. “You have to love without fear. It takes honesty, integrity, and a sense of humor. Yesterday is gone forever. Learn from it and move on. I lost my beautiful wife of 33 years in an instant. Nothing is a given. Embrace today. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.”

After many years of dating and many more being married, he will tell you the importance of communication and making compromises. At the end of the day, he says he is looking for the same thing everyone looks for: that person who is the last person you think of at night and the first thing you think of in the morning.

“It’s like that famous quote,” Hanson explains, “‘Love is like a butterfly.’ If you chase after it, it will fly away. But if you are patient and wait long enough, it will land in your hands.”

Dating Sites

Meetup Sites

WD-40 Household Uses

June 20, 2013 by

You may have seen an article floating around on the internet claiming 40+ unique uses for the water-displacing spray WD-40. Well, Snopes.com—a website dedicated to debunking urban legends, myths, rumors, and misinformation—decided to follow up on this article and see if the presented tips were true.

“The WD-40 brand of spray lubricant is one of those ubiquitous products that is both found in a large percentage of households and put to a wide variety of uses (not all of them recommended by the manufacturer),” Snopes’ website says.

Snopes was able to contact the manufacturer of WD-40 to learn if these 40+ uses were legitimate. Interestingly enough, the response Snopes received back from the manufacturer included a shorter, corrected list. Still, a surprising number of tips were left on this new list.

Here are the manufacturer-confirmed uses for WD-40 beyond degreasing and water displacing:

  • Protects silver from tarnishing
  • Removes road tar and grime from cars
  • Loosens stubborn zippers
  • Untangles jewelry chains
  • Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing
  • Keeps scissors working smoothly
  • Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and in homes
  • Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers
  • Rids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises
  • Lubricates tracks in home windows and makes them easier to open
  • Makes umbrellas easier to open and close after spraying the stem
  • Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles
  • Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
  • Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling
  • Keeps rust from forming on saws, saw blades, and other tools
  • Lubricates prosthetic limbs
  • Keeps pigeons off of balconies (they apparently hate the smell)
  • Removes all traces of duct tape
  • Cleans and removes bugs from grills and bumpers
  • Displaces the moisture and allows a car to start after spraying the distributor cap
  • Removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor without harming the floor’s finish
  • Removes bug guts from the finish on cars

Digital Immigrant, Meet Demand Generation

May 25, 2013 by

Chances are you are a “digital immigrant,” one who was not born bathed in bits, who played video games as a toddler or learned keyboarding in third grade. This means you have a steeper learning curve than “digital natives”—those for whom all this social media stuff isn’t stuff at all. It’s just part of everyday life…how they live, work, play, access information, and make decisions.

Indeed, there is a whole generation of digital natives, who command where, when, and how they find information. They are in control, and that is why they are called the “demand generation.” They compose our customers, our prospects, our employees, our constituents, and our advocates. A key to understanding social media is understanding how to reach, and more importantly, engage with the demand generation.

Here are some tips:

  • Acknowledge that the sales process is no longer linear. The internet has jumped squarely in between you and your customer and interrupted what used to be a good opportunity for you to control the conversation. Now consumers visit blogs to get information and recommendations on what to buy. The average consumer uses more than 10 sources to make a buying decision today, and 70 percent of Americans look at product reviews. What was once linear may be turned upside-down, twisted sideways, and backwards. Consumers may see a product in the store, but then go out into cyberspace to investigate it, only to go back into the store to buy.
  • Content is king. As a writer by trade—and a digital immigrant—knowing this makes me very happy. It also makes me work hard to relate to my target audience with personal, direct, relevant conversations that matter to them. Customers who engage with brands online spend 20-40 percent more on that brand’s products/services. Know your target. Understand their perspective. Quench their thirst for the knowledge they seek. A long time ago, author and speaker Bert Decker impressed me with his edict, “You’ve got to be believed to be heard.” Break through that frontal cortex, and your message just may get through.
  • You do have to be everywhere—and on-the-go. This seems the antithesis to target marketing, but what it means is you can’t think that because you have your website and a Facebook page, you’re good to go. Chances are your target customers aren’t sitting still. It’s likely—not statistically shown—that 78 percent of consumers shop across multiple channels. This means the internet—your site if your SEO is up to date, social media, Twitter, Vine, blogs, e-mail deliveries from you/your competitors, and their phones. And here’s the deal with phones: 31 percent of consumers research products on their phones before buying in-store while 40 percent research products from their phones before buying online. Is your site mobile optimized/responsive so that it feeds the information to fit the user’s screen?

The good news about all this—for those willing to keep swimming in the deep end—is that there is demand, a marketer’s dream. We can meet that demand with products people need and want—and by getting in and staying in the conversation with relevance, content, personalization, and engagement.

Special thanks for inspiration and sourcing for this article from Bob Thacker, former CMO of OfficeMax.