Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Google Is Launching a Tool That Will Tell You if Solar Panels Are Right for You


Google Is Launching a Tool That Will Tell You if Solar Panels Are Right for You

Adding solar panels to your roof can be frustrating, since it's often difficult to know if your home receives enough light to justify the investment. Google Maps, however, has satellite, navigation and sunlight data for every property in the world, so it's ideally placed to tell you how many rays hit your crib on a daily basis.  That's why the firm is launching Sunroof, a database of how much solar energy hits each building in a city, helping people work out if it's worth the effort. Sunroof is intended as a "treasure map" for future green energy projects, telling you how much of a saving you'd make and how long it'd take to make back your initial outlay. For more efficiency you can use controllers like Renoy 30A PWM Charge Controller


To begin with, Project Sunroof will only be available in three locations: Boston, San Francisco and Fresno. If it turns out to be successful, however, then Google will roll the service out to the rest of the country and, possibly, the world. Once you've put in your address, you'll be told how much you're likely to save in energy costs, and then be put in touch with a local installer.



We tested the service out on Aol's building in San Francisco, and it told us that we received 1,840 hours of usable sunlight per year. In addition, we learned that we have roughly 15,641 square feet of available space that we could use to install solar panels. It then took us through our options, letting us know that we'd save $14,000 if we leased the hardware, or $24,000 if we bought them outright. So, if you're in one of these three areas, why not share how much Google thinks you're likely to save and if that'll prompt you into signing up.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Interfaith Quilters quilt show in Longmont on Saturday

From left: Donna Parsons, Karan Michael and Luanne Ross pose in front of the "Harmony in Blue" quilt Friday morning during setup for the 31st annual Interfaith Quilters quilt show at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 803 Third Ave.

The 99 patches for "Harmony in Blue" were created by individual members of Interfaith and is one of approximately 725 quilts for sale. Last year's sale raised $34,000 for the OUR Center and Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley.

"We really appreciate the community support, big time," said Michael, Interfaith's vice president.

The sale runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Small business planning


Small business planning

Some people aspiring to start or get into a small business, especially those with available equity, often take proper business planning for granted. A proper business plan is typically required when applying for a business loan, but some people who do not need to apply for such loans may also tend to forget about the business plan, often to their detriment.

Take the case of Elsa whose eldest daughter Terrie was graduating from college. Like any good parent, Elsa was planning to give her daughter a good career start, and she thought getting her to manage her own business was the way to go. Problem was Elsa never had a background in business herself, so she did not really know where or how to start.

Elsa’s sister Brenda, on the other hand, married a local businessman and it just so happened that they had a small internet and arcade gaming business that they no longer had time to manage; or so they said. So they approached Elsa and suggested that it may be a good idea for her to purchase the business from them, with the eventual goal of getting Terrie to manage it after she graduates.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Waffle of the month

Waffle of the month

Some of our more regular and observant visitors might wonder what the WOTM category is all about. It actually stands for “waffle of the month”, and it’s the license we give ourselves to go a bit off-topic every once in a while. We did promise in our very first post that we’ll “keep the waffling to a minimum”, so readers can expect the waffling to just only be once a month.
Joining Twitter

We joined twitter last month. We joined merely because everybody seems to be talking about it, but over a month on, we’re still not quite sure how to use it most effectively. Our preliminary conclusion is twitter – social media in general, in fact – can potentially be a great business tool, but it may not be for everyone.

So while twitter can and should be included in marketing mix considerations, we probably won’t lose too much sleep if we can’t make it fit into our model. A possible folly is for people to just latch on to it because it seems to be what people are talking about these days and lose a lot of resources just getting it to work right for them.
Playing with site look and feel

We are still constantly playing with the look and feel of the site. We added, and then removed, a tags widget on the left sidebar as it looked too cluttered for our taste. We added Clustrmaps at the bottom of the right sidebar, mainly to give us a (free) indication of where our visitors are coming from. We did not expect visits from China and India to be so high, at least relative to the rest of the world; but thinking about it now, it probably makes sense just with their sheer volume of internet users.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

9 Model Business Blogs

9 Model Business Blogs

Following on from our post on pretend online gurus, we thought it might be good to present our readers with a few examples of what we believe are model business blogs. For blog readers looking for value, these can be looked at as benchmarks of what to look for in monetized blogs. For business bloggers looking to monetize their blogs, these can serve as standards to aspire to.

Two common themes you will find from the samples: (1) these bloggers appear to have already established reputations in their offline lives and their blogs just serve as extension channels; and (2) they provide a lot of free, useful content for their readers. We also deliberately picked blog authors who provide at least some content downloads without the opt-in requirement to their mailing lists or newsletters.

Chris Anderson

  • Chris Anderson is editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine. He is the author of “The Long Tail”, which is also the title of his personal blog. You can download a book extract that includes the full introduction and a chapter titled “The New Tastemakers” for free. The Long Tail Manifesto is also freely downloadable.