Latest Articles in COLUMN

  • Choices in video advertising were once limited to broadcast or cable TV channels. Now, in addition, dealers can use the Web to showcase their video ads, whether it’s on their own site, or in tandem with search engine marketing and online yellow page ads that now offer the option of adding video to the mix. Dealers can now “multi-purpose” original 30-second spots in a variety of... more »
  • If ever there were a time when people felt they were running out of luck, this is it. The financial crisis of today has left a lot of people feeling scared and victimized. The good news is that the economic sun will rise again and life will be eventually easier. In the meantime, stop feeling victimized and create your own luck. Seneca, the great Roman philosopher noted 2,000 years ago, “... more »
  • While natural disaster newshounds watch alternating seasonal threats of East Coast hurricanes and West Coast wildfires like a tennis match, building codes have been shoring up the defenses in hopes of mitigating disasters such as 2005’s Katrina and 2007’s Witch Creek. We have devoted much discussion in these pages to the evolving codes and standards for hurricane wind, water and... more »
  • New 502-08 and 511-08 documents are good step toward the fair use of product tests in a forensic investigation
    For most companies the evaluation and processing of claims is one of those areas which can stand improvement; sometimes a lot of improvement. I assure you it is not uncommon to be good at window and door design, manufacture, sales and service; but be bad at handling claims. Even those that are fairly adept at handling those projects that have problems have been subjected to potential liability... more »
  • Those who ignore the knowledge, buying power and participation of women in the home improvement marketplace, a longtime male-dominated niche market, do so to their economic peril. The Lowe's home improvement chain set out to prove this premise about five years ago and came up not pink, not green, but golden. The blue's answer to Home Depot's well-established orange, which included wider aisles,... more »
  • People have called me a cynic. And given today's economic environment, I am certainly a realist. A recent panel presentation held in conjunction with the Remodeling Show in Baltimore, however, gave me pause, and suggested to me that perhaps I should improve my attitude. The session, hosted by Ply-Gem Windows, featured window dealers enjoying increased sales despite the tough times. One key... more »
  • "I want a job like yours where I can get paid to write about what I did for my summer vacation," my son remarked. He was responding to my comments that I thought there were elements of Roman architecture, both ancient and medieval, that were relevant to today's development of U.S. building codes, and that I thought I would mention them in my next column for this magazine. We had just... more »
  • So it's ugly out there, no doubt, but I'm sort of sick of talking about it. That's not to say I won't continue talking about this wretched economy, but I've decided to give myself a Time Out. I'm done talking about how terrible the economy is. For a minute anyway. Maybe two. It's hard to remember what's so terrible with the state of the Union when I just spent more than a month getting to know... more »
  • By the time you’re reading this, the Beijing Summer Olympics will have long since closed. But as I write this, we’re deep into Olympic obsession mode (at least my household is). I know the Olympics themselves are now yesterday’s news, but if you’ll indulge a gal a bit, I’m hoping to strike up a conversation about China. About four years ago, not long after I first... more »
  • It's no secret that small and large businesses are shifting marketing resources from print to online activities that can add value beyond lead generation. Local search marketing, including pay-per-click advertising on search engines, is the leading interactive medium for retailers and dealers. Growth in revenues at newspaper and local television station Web sites indicates many companies are... more »