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January 20, 2006

Focusing on Marketing Now that the Great Migration is Done

Season's Greetings from everyone at Chatham Township Data Corporation. In 2005, we completed the migration of our server infrastructure to a Linux platform that's optimized for expansion of our hosting business. This was on the drawing board a year ago when I wrote our holiday message but didn't get completed until November due to the priority of other work that clients had requested.

The final migration steps took place under the intense pressure of infrastructure problems. We could only get away with running obsolete servers for so long. The Service Notice article published on the RCNJ website is a cryptic reminder. We didn't lose any data in this failure, but a lot of content temporarily disappeared from this and a few other websites. This will never happen again, because we now have geographically diverse servers with replication of daily backups between them. We should have had this in place a long time ago.

Earlier today Martin O'Donnell and I met briefly because he's in town visiting his father. We talked about the strategic options that a friend of his has in building a web presence for a new women's clothing store being opened in Seattle. I gave my opinion, which was to be conservative and focus on what could be done well rather than implementing a laundry list of web and e-commerce services in the quickest way possible.

I added that we should take a fresh look at CTDATA's websites and services from time to time, and make changes where appropriate. The ideas we came up with for his friend: focus on excellent implementation of a basic informational website, and build slowly from there to a robust e-commerce presence, make a lot of sense for a startup women's fashion retail store. What would a similar approach mean for this company at this time?

For a long time, CTDATA.com has been a weblog of sorts. It has talked about our business and issues that have affected it and our community. Comments from business associates have indicated that the site doesn't say enough about our business and why potential customers should work with us. I intend to change this in 2006.

I focused on preserving everything that has ever been published here at great opportunity cost. Now that the content on this website has been migrated to a modern web publishing platform, I hope to segregate it so that the items of informational and historical value remain accessible while less relevant information finds a home on a more appropriate website. I also plan to move away from presenting this weblog on the CTDATA home page.

This should result in CTDATA.com becoming a more efficient marketing tool for the company.

The Weblog Improvement website has the opposite problem: it doesn't have enough content. I'm going to try to add features to it that focus on weblog publishing best practices and Movable Type implementation tips. We also need a mechanism for converting visits to the Weblog Improvement site into sales leads.

I think that the rest of the business is doing fairly well, so we need to continue to focus on timely delivery of consulting services to our clients, continued reliability of our Linux-based hosting infrastructure, and increased revenue from our web publishing business.

I'd like to take a moment to thank our clients for helping CTDATA continue to succeed in 2005. I hope our company has added value to your businesses. Thanks to our partners at other companies who helped CTDATA's consulting business grow and our web publishing business to reach some new audiences.

On behalf of our little company, I want to extend best wishes to our customers and all of the readers of our website. We hope that 2006 will be a wonderful year for all of us, in our personal and business lives. CTDATA is still here to serve you. If we can help you to build a better weblog, web-based application, or e-commerce website, please let us know.

Best wishes to you and your family during this holiday season.

Dave Aiello
Chatham Township Data Corporation

Previous CTDATA holiday messages: