Ajax: Mythic (Web) Hero

Posted by Will Bond on October 21, 2005.

According to princeton.edu, Ajax is "a mythical Greek hero; a warrior who fought against Troy in the Iliad". While certainly an interesting story, most of you are probably more interested in the mythic (web) hero AJAX. Lots of web developers, and even just regular internet users, have been hearing this term being thrown around. You probably even know that it stands for Asynchronous Javascript And XML. It is a way for specific content on a web page to be refreshed without the whole page having to be reloaded. This has the obvious benefits of saving both time and bandwidth. In fact, most sites have a small portion of content that changes between pages, with a larger amount being static. The Web 2.0, a revolutionizing of the internet that AJAX will be central player in, is another hot topic being widely discussed. AJAX may be cool, and revolutionary, but I think it will be a while before it brings about such drastic changes. There are a lot of reasons why AJAX is good, and useful, however in some circles AJAX has embraced it a little too quickly. GMail was one of the first major uses of AJAX on the web. There are many great aspects to GMail, however, I contest that AJAX is the cause of one of the significant frustrations. Since AJAX refreshes information on a page without actually reloading the whole thing, navigation buttons are the first things to break. In addition, pages are impossible to bookmark and email to friends since your browser does not know the current state of the page. This brings back bad memories of browsing around sites built completely in flash. In short, this is a fairly major usability issue. Google has taken some time to try and fix this in GMail by patching the back button, but unfortunately the forward button seems to have been neglected. While AJAX has the potential to revolutionize the web, I believe that more work is required for a seamless environment before more large scale systems are based on it. Perhaps browsers will soon start to track dynamic updates via Javascript, or maybe a serious effort will needed to change people's browsing habits. Until then, AJAX is a logical choice for smaller scale installations. There are numerous places where pop-up windows and selector screens can be replaced by small AJAX applications. This, most certainly, will help to improve usability, which is a good thing in anyone's book.

It's a Beautiful Thing: Copelas Painting

Posted by Nils Menten on October 19, 2005.

Blog image

iMarc LLC (http://www.imarc.net) recently completed and launched a web site for Beverly's Copelas Painting.

Founded in 2000, Copelas Painting has grown rapidly. With a solid presence in the North Shore community, Copelas has a large base of very happy clients serviced by its fleet of trucks and professional painters and carpenters.

Copelas wanted an attractive website that would help prequalify clients and generate requests for quotes. To demonstrate Copelas' range of experience and past projects, the site features photo galleries, and every page has a strong call to action to help convert anonymous web visitors to active inquiries.

"My favorite part of working with iMarc was the speed with which they took my site from idea to up-and-running," said owner Jeffrey Copelas. "This was a lot of help with my busy schedule. The site lets me change content as my business grows and show people what I want them to see."

iMarc created a database-driven photo gallery management system to enable Copelas to directly control and update the web site. With the galleries, potential clients can see the quality of work done for Copelas's upscale clientele. And since good references are key to winning projects, the site includes testimonials from past customers.

About Copelas Painting
Copelas Painting (www.copelaspainting.com) was founded by Jeffrey Copelas in 2000, and in just five years has grown from a sole proprietorship to a full-service home improvement firm with 14 employees. Jeffry Copelas has 12 years experience in the field. Serving Essex County and the North Shore, Copelas has many happy customers, including home owners, interior decorators, and commercial contractors.

About iMarc
iMarc is a skilled team of designers, programmers, and business development experts, focused on building user-focused web sites and online applications. Since its founding in 1997, iMarc has created digital asset management applications; ecommerce, social networking, intranets and member association websites, and literally hunders of other websites and branding solutions for clients world-wide. iMarc's portfolio is available online at www.imarc.net/portfolio.

Job Opening: Sales / New Business Development

Posted by Nils Menten on August 25, 2005.

iMarc seeks a talented sales and new business development specialist, with a demonstrated track record of success in helping customers define goals, and manage projects to completion. The ideal candidate has at least 3 years of internet-related experience including at least one year in business development /sales. This person needs to be a creative thinker, who can assist customers in identifying business opportunities and devising web based solutions. Excellent writing and presentation skills are a must, some familiarity with graphics applications and presentation tools would be nice, and above all the successful applicant will be professional, self-motivated, organized and highly ethical. For this position we'll structure a salary plus commission plan that will net a successful candidate 60-100k+ annually, with company-paid expenses. To apply, send your resume with references, cover letter, and at least 2 writing samples to careers@imarc.net. Please-no phone calls. We'll review all submissions and respond back to qualified applicants to schedule interviews. What iMarc Offers - Competitive salary - Excellent benefits including health and dental coverage - Company-sponsored retirement plan - A fun, creative work environment, in excellent surroundings - Challenging, varied projects - Paid health club membership - Paid home Internet access How To Apply Email a PDF or Plain Text resume to careers@imarc.net About iMarc iMarc is an 8 year-old interactive agency located in Newburyport, Massachusetts. iMarc creates dynamic web sites, intranets, extranets, and secure ecommerce solutions for businesses large and small. iMarc also does excellent branding and creative work, and designs web sites that meet the highest standards for usability and search-engine readiness. iMarc has an excellent, referenceable client list, and enjoys long-term relationships with many excellent companies.

Premier Financial Services chooses iMarc

Posted by Nils Menten on March 3, 2005.

As the market for exotic and luxury cars continues to expand, so does the need for more flexible financing options. Discerning auto collectors are turning to leasing as a more convenient otion with some attractive features, and Premeir Financial Services is a market leader in this specialized leasing sector. PFS selected iMarc to help design a web site that will improve company's branding on-line, and position the company for growth. PFS leveraged iMarc's experience in positioning and promoting ultra-premium brands to build a site that is not only appealing to the discriminating viewer, but efficient at converting visitors into clients - function and form combined to deliver maximum Return on Investment. The site includes integrated content management for easy administration by PFS, and iMarc's trademark modular architecture that enables PFS to "re-skin" the site without a fork-lift upgrade. In addition, integrated ad campaign tools help track and report on linking performance, which helps optimize the company's marketing campaigns. For more information on Premier Financial Services, visit their web site at www.premierfinancialservices.com.

6 Boston Real Estate Associations Go Live with iMarc

Posted by Nils Menten on February 3, 2005.

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) , a non-profit trade association representing over 8,000 real estate professionals through five associated organizations, has recently launched 6 new web sites designed by iMarc. The associations include: Greater Boston Real Estate Board Greater Boston Association of Realtors Building Owners and Managers Association Commercial Broker's Association Real Estate Finance Association Rental Housing Association iMarc delivered a unique, unified site architecture that helps each association leverage the Internet more efficiently, improve member service delivery, increase public awareness, and reduce association management expenses. The result is a series of sites that deliver savings through economies of scale, yet with enough flexibility for each association to manage it's own content and branding. Site features include: * Integrated architecture to facilitate inter-association navigation * Both public and private sections * News & events with on-line registration * On-line publications * Integrated e-newsletter system * Integrated content management system To learn more about the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and related associations, visit www.gbreb.com or call 617-423-8700.

Concordant partners with iMarc for building on-line presence

Posted by Nils Menten on November 22, 2004.

Concordant is a leading provider of infrastructure solutions to regulated industries, including Healthcare, Financial Services and Pharmaceuticals. The company provides a top-down review and analysis of a company's security and compliance with HIPAA, SOX, FDA and other regulations, then follows up with expert implementation of proven hardware and software solutions. With rising concern for corporate liability, compliance management has seen some explosive growth. As a result, Concordant wanted to upgrade its image and improve communication with current and prospective clients through its web site. Concordant selected iMarc to help construct the new site, and in the process re-evaluate the company's approach to addressing the needs of each vertical segment. iMarc conducted a needs assessment, then divided the project into two phases. The first phase was a complete redesign, delivered in one week, in order to address the immediate branding concerns imposed by rising demand for the company's services. The second phase involved a more thorough design and development process to addesss long-term objectives. The final site was designed to provide a smooth transition between the various phases of conversion. Each call to action encourages engagement, without forcing it. Education is an important factor in raising awareness for Concordant's services, therefore special attention was given to the company's ecucation programs. In addition, industry news is integrated with company news. The site includes an integrated content management system for easy maintenance. News, case studies and front page hot buttons can be changed on the fly through web forms, helping reduce the effort of maintaining the site. For more information on Concordant, visit their website at www.concordantinc.com

iMarc Launches MassSAVE website

Posted by Nils Menten on October 1, 2004.

NEWTON, Mass., Sept. 30, 2004 – To help counter volatile oil, gas and energy prices, the state's electric and gas distribution companies and energy efficiency providers* have joined together to launch MassSAVE on Oct. 1, 2004. Coinciding with "National Energy Awareness Month," this regional program is designed to assist consumers throughout Mass. with home energy solutions that will save money, help reduce dependence on foreign oil, increase a home's comfort level and benefit the environment. A Web site, www.masssave.com, officially introduces the program and guides consumers through a myriad of programs and tips providing year-round home energy solutions, incentives and rebates. No cost, in-home services offered by MassSAVE can significantly reduce heating and energy bills by up to 30 percent, or about $400 per year, for the average family. Utilities and energy efficiency providers are offering educational materials, installation of energy saving measures and inspections to ensure the home's optimal performance is achieved. Financing and incentives are available for a variety of high efficiency improvements including the installation of wall insulation and air sealing throughout the home. Rebates are also available for several ENERGY STAR® products, which meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's standards for maximum energy efficiency. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the state's Office Of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation endorse MassSAVE. DOER Commissioner David O'Connor said, "The end of daylight saving time coming up and people using energy in the home for longer periods, in addition to an upcoming New England winter, means that we all need to start conserving our energy resources right now. Improving the efficiency of our homes is paramount to this effort and MassSAVE will contribute a great deal. We hope that consumers throughout the state will take advantage of this important initiative." Massachusetts Consumer Affairs Director Beth Lindstrom added, "Unexpected cold snaps and greater oil demand will continue to drive up prices of heating oil for consumers. With MassSAVE, residents of the Commonwealth can protect themselves by ensuring their homes are as energy efficient as possible, whether they heat with oil or gas." To learn more about MassSAVE, visit www.masssave.com, or call 1-866-527-7283. * Participants are Bay State Gas Company, Berkshire Gas Company, Cape Light Compact, Keyspan Energy Delivery, Massachusetts Electric, Nantucket Electric, New England Gas Company, NSTAR Electric and Gas, Western Massachusetts Electric Company, and Unitil. MassSAVE is a Residential Conservation Service Program funded by gas and electric ratepayers. The program is operated according to state law and under the regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy and the DOER. Some restrictions apply and the program is subject to change. Customers with limited incomes are eligible for free services. Referrals will be made to local agencies.

Site by iMarc Wins National Marketing Communications Award

Posted by Nils Menten on September 3, 2004.

The Intranet site designed for Berry (William A. Berry & Son, Inc.) has won an award for best design for Internal Communications. The award for second place was given by the Society for Marketing Professional Services. The society assembled a team of over 65 jurors and volunteers to review hundreds of entries in 18 categories. A preview of the site can be found here: Berryintranet.com design by iMarc - Screenshot

ConnectU site goes live

Posted by Nils Menten on May 20, 2004.

Cambridge, Massachusetts - ConnectU recently launched a brand-new social networking service targeted at an audience its founders know well: the Ivy League of colleges and universities. The popular service is the brainchild of three recent graduates of Harvard University Class of 2004. ConnectU allows students and alumni to connect and collaborate, on a professional or personal level, to help them network and connect within their collegiate community. Members use the service for everything from swapping textbooks and connecting with classmates to finding friends with similar interests and activities. iMarc built and hosts the ConnectU site and the underlying applications that power the service. ConnectU is currently online at 33 leading colleges and universities, with more planned for this fall. Visit the ConnectU site. iMarc is a full-service web development and hosting firm that uses a unique, multidisciplinary approach to web and on-line application design. iMarc's applications and web sites are typically next generation projects, with higher levels of interactivity and engagement for the user, yet more functionality and ease of maintenance for the administrator. iMarc's customers include EMC, New England Pension Consultants, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, and UPromise. For more information, contact iMarc at 978-462-8848 or visit www.imarc.net.

Hershey chooses iMarc for media archive

Posted by Nils Menten on April 6, 2004.

Hershey, Pennsylvania - Hershey Resorts and Entertainment recently installed a powerful, flexible media asset management system designed and built by iMarc. Hershey's system allows several groups within the organization to store, share and retrieve media assets including photographs, logos, templates and other electronic files from anywhere in the organization, through a powerful browser-based search and retrieval application that was custom tailored to their needs. Hershey owns and operates hotels, theme parks, sporting arenas and entertainment venues throughout the Northeast United States. iMarc is a full-service web development and hosting firm that uses a unique, multidisciplinary approach to web and on-line application design. iMarc's applications and web sites are typically next generation projects, with higher levels of interactivity and engagement for the user, yet more functionality and ease of maintenance for the administrator. iMarc's customers include EMC, New England Pension Consultants, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, and UPromise. For more information, contact iMarc at 978-462-8848 or visit www.imarc.net.