The Diablog™

What will the new year bring?

If you pay any attention to the news media, 2009 was like one continuous burning of Rome. The part of Nero was played by news anchors watching as the empire was destroyed. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's time to stand up, shake off the dust of 2009, and get back to it.

Like most companies (I guess), business slowed a bit for us in '09. The good news for you is that it allowed us more time to build out new features in Dialogs as well as improve our online documentation and support.

Give me a minute to bang our drum. I have a point to make, and I'll get there by the end. I promise.

Dialogs version 6.1 was released late last year. It includes a great new inspector tool that allows site admins to access any part of a website's content or design with only one click. It's a huge time saver. (See more about Dialogs version 6.1.) We also created a website with version 6.1 to use as a sandbox. Check it out at www.AmberBeanCoffee.com. You need a login to Dialogs.com to play in the sandbox, but if you're serious about working the web, this is a great place to start.

Even though we have been involved in web and interactive work for decades, we still learned from our experience building Amber Bean Coffee. We started an actual company and then built our branding and communications, much like any start-up would do. In about 60 days, we had a company and a website. I understand that we have more in-house resources than most, which made the website launch less challenging for us. But trust me, it still had its challenges. It was a great experience for us to work through the start-up process, even for a company with a narrow focus like Amber Bean Coffee.

So ... as promised ... a point. As bad economies turn around, the marketplace always sees change. People who lost jobs give up working for someone else and start new businesses. Old businesses close, and the owners start new ones. The stress of struggling through hard times always results in new innovation. The year 2010 will not simply be a restored 2007.

The creative industry needs to be prepared for a shift in focus. A larger percentage of the work we do over the next few years will be for new endeavors. The skillset required for guiding a new company toward success is different than doing work for an old, established company. Your business practices when dealing with start-ups may also need to be adjusted. This is also a prime time to re-evaluate the tools you use in your business.

Dialogs is the perfect tool for new businesses for a variety of reasons. First, it is affordable, both in it's actual cost and in how it improves implementation efficiency. Keeping costs down is always a priority with start-ups. Second, Dialogs is flexible and expandable. This means that you can deploy only what is needed and add functionality as the company grows. Finally, Dialogs Professional Services has extensive experience with new ventures (our own and others). We understand how start-ups differ from established businesses, and we're happy to share our experience.

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