Category Archives: Oblog

Social Garden

We did a short post on tending your social garden over on our Arizona SEO blog. Worth a read.

While some may see time spent on social networks a waste, it really can be a productive endeavour. The name recognition, branding reinforcement, and personal connections you can make can prove valuable in tangible and intrinsic ways down the line. Tending your social garden in as important to business today as the trade show was 15 years ago.

All Sports All the Time

A good friend of mine up in maple leaf country asked us to put together a sports blog for him.  This is the type of site where wordpress really shines.  A straight forward blog with multiple authors, basic navigation, and content sorted by team/author.

Be sure to follow for all your sports blogging needs. Expect big things from this site very soon.



The movie was awesome, but this post is about a milestone we reached with our party ideas and party planning website

As of today, 25 days since we launched the ALL new (v3) website, our 300th user just registered. The velocity of user sign-ups is increasing . I think it took over 15 days to get the first 100. While of course we are aiming for 100k users in the next few months, we’ll take the first 300 and be dang happy about it.


Build it and they will come.. Um, No.

Ponder this: How are people going to find your new website? When they get there, is there enough to keep them around? Will they tell their friends about it? Are you offering the user enough as a trade for their time investment in registering and providing contact/user information? How deep are your pockets for marketing and promotion? Are people talking about your new product or service. Is it buzzworthy?

These are just a few of the many questions you should have answers for when contemplating a new website/community. We addressed many of these prior to launching the website. We already had great search engine rankings (learn about our search engine optimization services) for the v2 site which carried over and are improving. We have worked diligently to give the user some great tools and resources to make it worth their time to register. Sally did some interviews to get the word out, and we have leveraged other social networks (BPE on: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, UstreamTV, Squidoo) to bring people into the fold. And finally we gave users of this simple option of inviting their friends.

As an example I spoke with a potential client the other day about building them a new social utility, the $50k estimate for development I gave them did not seem to phase them, but the $50k in marketing/promotional budget I suggested for the first 6 months was met with silence on the other end of the phone. Wake up, this is what it takes folks. While the idea of bootstrapping a company from nothing to Internet stardom is valid, and has been done more than once, in practice the odds are not stacked in your favor.

In the future we are planning more seamless integration into other websites and services to make it even easier for our users to interact and share. Your website is not (and should not be) an island. In todays marketplace: it MUST be connected.

It has been a long few weeks with the launch and the frenetic pace of development. Sally and I are heading to Mexico for a few days, You are invited.

PR critique from a PR Professional

Linda VandeVrede over at shared her thoughts on Sally’s PR style.

“Sally Strebel (aka Bizgirl on Twitter) has some of the best PR advice I’ve ever heard for new businesses: “Whoever is biggest and baddest in the room, don’t be afraid to go up to them.”

Read the full post here. 

Sally is VP here at Obuweb, and Founder and CEO of, a party planning social network. v3.0.0 ALPHA Released

Yep!  Spankin New Social network in 5 weeks, yeah we did it.  We still have a quite a ways to go with the codebase and we are happy to announce the launch of the 3.0.0 alpha.  This is a public alpha, as in a very stripped and minimal version released for public testing.  Check it out.


If you are in the biz you can learn more about our development process at 

Dear Microsoft: We appreciate your prompt payment.

Playing in the website design space is fun, but not always. If you are not a web designer than you probably know little about the work that goes into making a website “look” great. There are at least 5 major web browsers that the majority of people use. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (6 and 7/Win) being the most common, Firefox (Win/Mac), and then finally Safari (Mac).

Each one the browsers on each platform render a given website in different ways. What looks great in Safari may look terrible in IE 7. Rather then go into all the details of why and how, I am going to skip right to the point of this post. Web Designers spend hours, lots of additional hours working on websites that look great in all browsers, but look terrible in Internet Explorer 6. Unfortunately IE6 still commands a very large % of browser usage and therefore designers are forced to “hack” the code that looks great and renders “to standard” in other browsers. These hacks take time, and are necessary due to IE6’s non support of these official standards.

Dear Users, PLEASE get a copy of Firefox or upgrade to IE7 (still crummy but better), your web experience will be greatly enhanced, we promise.

Okay now really to the point. Microsoft, Pay up. It’s time to reimburse us for all the hours spent hacking flawless markup to make it work in your browser. Here is the invoice for time spent by our staff over the last 5 years “fixing” compliant markup to render correctly in IE6. We appreciate your prompt payment. Thank you.


Nailing the product launch.

We have been tinkering on a few internal projects: web applications such as and We also have a few more in the works as well. The idea, and code is the easy part. Deploying the finished product to market is an entirey different beast.

Launching your product or service is an ongoing process, not a 1 time event, as said to me by my friend and product launch consultant, David Daniels. We learned quite a bit about launching a product or service to market with David’s help, and we encourage everyone to check out his website and blog at Yes we designed and host his website as barter for his services.. yet I would have happily paid through the nose for his valuable insight.

We have a major release of coming up, and it makes it all the sweeter when you have the experts in your corner.

Best of luck on your next endeavor.

Sally’s New Business Blog

sallysblog.jpgObu Web Co-Founder and VP Sally Boldt-Strebel needed a new blog to post her thoughts on business, marketing, party ideas, etc. Sally is also Founder and CEO of a party planning social network site that we (obu) are doing the design and development work on. We used design queues from the upcoming release of do create a custom skin for WordPress. Check out her blog at

2008 SXSW Panel Idea

I attended SXSW for the first time last year and was blown away by the level and quantity of talent present. This year I hope to contribute to the conference by earning one of the coveted 1 hour time slots to present my panel: Bankrupt Your Startup in Five Easy Steps

This panel will use humor and wit to show HOW TO bankrupt a fledging company. Panelists will share their insight and knowledge of moving from the garage to the corner office by successfully navigating through the challenges of cash-flow, staffing, and biz marketing. Emphasis will be placed on missteps that could have (or did) sink the company.

Learn from the experience of those that made it on how to successfully launch a startup off the ground. Learn to avoid common pitfalls that start-ups face that may bankrupt/kill your start-up. Master (Know what not to do) the art of bankrupting a company, any company in 5 easy steps.

My good friend Sean Tierney from and web maverick Ryan Carson have both agreed to participate. I have in mind a couple other presenters to fill the 2 1 remaining slots when the time comes.

UPDATE: When the idea is Hot, the right people come to it. Noah Kagan of has just come on board as the 4th panelist.

The panel submission process consists of a democratic voting phase in which all 600+ panels ideas are presented to the public for a ‘vote’ as to which ones should make it into the schedule. Please help us out and register at (only takes 1 minute) and then please vote on our panel idea here

While you are there, please have a look and support these other panel ideas submitted by other local Arizona web professionals.

James Archer – Scope Creep and Other Villains
Aaron Post – A Day at the Web Factory
Aaron Post – Clients are From Mars & Designers are From Venus
Brian Shaler – Converging Web & Client Applications: The Growing-Pain-Killer
Brian Shaler – Internet Celebrity: An Entrepreneur’s Ace in the Hole
Kimbro Staken – A Developer’s Cookbook to Leveraging Virtualization
David Koontz – A Better Gun to Shoot Your Eye Out With Launched

We are happy to announce the re-launch of GigaCrete is a “green building” materials company that just opened a new headquarters here in Scottsdale, Arizona.

At GigaCrete, we develop and manufacture next generation building materials that structurally, economically and environmentally outperform today’s conventional building products. Why? To positively impact human lives.

Build strong. Build forward.

giga1GigaCrete has a very interesting product, in that they have engineered an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional portland cement which also reduces weight, waste, and dramatically increases strength and thermal insulation. I was able to learn quite a bit about their product while developing the new website.

site_old.jpgHere is a shot of their old website, which had served its time. The new website was built upon a content management system to enable GigaCrete staff to self maintain the website, as well as post press releases and blog entries.

A thanks go to out Candace Wade at Stand4 for the logo/identity work. It was a pleasure working with Candace and the staff from GigaCrete on the project. GigaCrete is poised to make a big impact in the green building industry, and we were happy to play a part by providing a new website to serve their online needs.