Web

If it has to do with going online, you’ll find it here.

Fake News (and How to Spot It)

November 18, 2016

Perhaps you’ve heard about the great Fake News debacle that has been the talk of the internet since the election. If you happen to be out of the loop, let’s just say that fake news websites became increasingly popular on Facebook and other social media. Let’s discuss a few things about this dilemma.

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Gary is a team member at Sephone, helping to design, build and maintain websites. He is also a web design student at the New England School of Communications of Husson University.

3 Changes in 12 Years

November 4, 2016

During my last semester as a college student in 2005, I sat down with the partners and developers at Sephone to talk about the kind of work we wanted to do. We talked about giving people control of their own websites – a pretty novel concept back then, when WordPress wasn’t yet a common name in the business world and the only real option for digital communication was an email or instant message.

Over the past twelve years, we at Sephone, have built three versions of our own content management systems, a new e-commerce engine, secure file sharing and storage platforms, a nationwide event directory, and countless custom applications for businesses of all kinds. A lot has changed since those first days of 2005, but three main threads stand out as the biggest shifts in how we use our digital tools.

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Justin is a web and mobile developer at Sephone. He’s interested in user-driven design, social media, and web services. He also enjoys learning and exploring new ways for businesses and people to use the web.

Beauty is only “Skin” Deep

October 21, 2016

This Goes For Websites too!

Brady’s last post about eCommerce websites and the holidays approaching, inspired me to write this post:

Business owners want their company website to look beautiful, maybe have a lot of “glitz” and functionality.  But Google isn’t always that impressed.

Each year, Google changes up their algorithm 500-600 times.  Some changes are small and others aren’t so small. Some have big consequences.  Business owners are running their businesses and don’t always notice, they may see their website as a beautiful, shiny thing. They love it, it is like a child. read more

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Kelly’s been known as the Marketing Maven since before the term was hip. (That means she’s old.) As a natural Community Builder, she loves to get people together, bring resources to the table and solve problems!

Holiday Checkup

October 14, 2016

As much as some us are reluctant to admit, (this guy included), the holidays are fast approaching.  With that in mind, I thought that I would take a couple minutes to discuss your website with you, to see if it is ready for the upcoming holiday season.

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Brady is the voice on the other end of the phone line when you call Sephone. He graduated from the New England School of Communications in 2009 and assists Sephone in building and maintaining our sites.

Machine Learning

September 30, 2016

…and What It Means to You

If you happen to follow any technology- or web-related news sources, you may have heard a thing or two about Google’s ‘G Suite.’ Perhaps you’ve heard about machine learning regardless. For those unaware, a brief definition, courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica:

Machine Learning [is a] discipline concerned with the implementation of computer software that can learn autonomously.

Machine Learning, britannica.com

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Gary is a team member at Sephone, helping to design, build and maintain websites. He is also a web design student at the New England School of Communications of Husson University.

Using Google Analytics to Track Campaigns

September 23, 2016

Every business has goals. These goals can be thought of as campaigns in Google Analytics. For example, let’s pretend you own a small bakery and are well known for your homemade pies. To welcome the fall season, your goal is to offer a 10% discount on your apple pies purchased on your website.

You know in order to reach your customers you’ll need to advertise. read more

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John is a designer at Sephone.

I am responding! Are you?

September 9, 2016

A Volunteer Firefighter and Sephone Web Developer Explains…

There are Apps out there in our life from small games to Facebook and Instagram.  An App that I use a lot is for the fire department I serve on is iamresponding.com.  Although, you still need the radio to communicate on scenes, if someone has a pager and is in a bad area and can still use data and/or text message then they will be able to know they have a call and subsequently call in using the App.

This App is a time saver

Using it keeps you from needing to page personnel about an upcoming training.  Sending out a message through this App will also send a text message. One step.

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Alex is a developer at Sephone, helping to build apps and websites. He is also working on his Master’s degree in Computer Science.

The Internet: 25 Years Later

August 29, 2016

For those that missed it last week, on the 23rd of August, Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s Internet was officially publicly accessible for 25 years. (Keep in mind that this is the birthday of the public Internet, not the technology that makes it possible). Certainly an event worth celebrating – so here are (in no particular orderSephone’s notable moments involving the Internet thus far!

The Dot-Com Bubble

The historic economic bubble, which took place from about 1997 to 2000, saw the quick rise of equity values in various stock markets. Related to the rising popularity and prevalence of the Internet, many business were born and died in this period (especially when the bubble burst). But some persevered, and are still well-known to this day – like Amazon! For more information on this event, check out this video series.

April Fools!

Every year, on April the 1st (better known as April Fools Day to some and Justin Russell’s birthday here @Sephone), the Internet becomes a vast expanse of jokes and pranks. The people behind the curtain do not lack a sense of humor, and each year is prone to relevant gags. Some are funny, but make no impact beyond the date and a good laugh – for instance, Google’s 2016 Mic Drop. Others, like the Tauntaun sleeping bag that was a joke item featured for the day on ThinkGeek, were met with such a response that the ‘joke’ had to become real.

Heartbleed

Sometimes, bad things happen on the Internet. One such bad thing was the discovery of Heartbleed, a bug in server security that allowed for those proficient enough to steal quite a bit of information. Login information, messages, and the like were easily accessible thanks to a vulnerability in OpenSSL. Luckily, this bad thing led to a good thing – the issue was patched in a new OpenSSL release. This, of course, meant a lot of extra work upgrading any exposed platforms, which helps to make it so memorable. Here it is, immortalized in a relevant XKCD comic.

The Death of Internet Explorer 6

A prominent issue that arises with web browsing, design and development in general is the usage of outdated web browsers. This is why cake is baked when a prominent dinosaur of the Internet is finally put to rest. Internet Explorer tends to be a magnet for negative press, and the legacy of old versions of the software still being utilized certainly continues. The issue with this continued use of old software is both one of security, and also ease of access. As the technology that powers the web is developed, the software used to access the web must also be updated. Sadly, Internet Explorer has long held a tendency to update with explicit version numbers. This tends to make the process of upgrading a browser seem unnecessary, even though it definitely is. Luckily, Microsoft stepped in to slay their own beast, ensuring that the less than 1% of remaining users of the platform would move on, and experience the web more safely, and with a greater range of visual possibilities.

GMail and the Age of Better Email

Email has not always been a simple process – nor has it always been as beautiful as modern email clients make it seem. It is because of this that we remember the start of GMail quite fondly. Google helped to make email an accessible tool for all, but not only this – they also standardized the email experience. The layout of settings, as well as the overall appearance of the email client, has a huge impact on how businesses and people use the tool.

Kelly had this story to relate about the early days of email, to further illustrate its growth:

[…] I remember the first time I sent an email (1990-ish) to my boss who was less than impressed by the whole idea – we had a whopping speed of 9600 bps!  I was embracing the idea since we had many customers that worked for the Government, NIH, CDC, etc.  They used email to communicate.  So I sent him an email that said something like = Don’t be an old fogey.  Walked across the building and sat in his office and waited, waited. About 10 minutes later – it arrived.  He said, “See Cotiaux, I told you this whole thing is a fad.”

Honorable Mentions

  • The Launch of Google
  • The First Google Doodle
  • The Launch of Facebook
  • When Ask got rid of Jeeves
  • Saying good-bye to table-based layouts
  • The proliferation of WordPress
  • Archive.org and the WayBack Machine
  • Mobile Internet taking shape

We look forward to another 25 years of growth, frustrations and inevitable usefulness from the Internet. Feel free to share your historic stories in the comments below!

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Gary is a team member at Sephone, helping to design, build and maintain websites. He is also a web design student at the New England School of Communications of Husson University.