Walking the bridge between usability and search engine optimization practices to enhance user experience since 2000.

Kim Krause Berg aka Cre8pc Changes Course

Kim Krause Berg aka Cre8pc Changes Course

Since leaving Internet Marketing Ninjas, I have not only returned to the work I love, but am taking some new and different turns with my life. First, I am deeply grateful to my closest friends and family for holding me up and reminding me that I matter. Every day, in my heart, I am thanking you.

Kim with cameraCre8pc

Next, this site is going to turn into a hobby site and travel all the way back to its roots to 1996, when its name was born. Cre8pc means “create peace”. I hope to find people on our planet who love Earth and wish the humans who live on it would get their act together before we destroy it and each other.

Kim Krause Berg

My passion for creating good things for people translates well into the usability work I do, and especially, why I do it. I care about the people who use websites. I care about the people who want a website. You can find me now at KimKrauseBerg.com.

Secrets For The Wind

My daughter and I started Secretsforthewind together and let it go to sleep. We are in the process of bringing it back, along with help from my son and other family members. We eat organically, use products as pure and simple as possible, have long used alternative healing methods and you will find all manner of Native American and Buddhist stuff around the house. There is also a hard core sports and workout fanatic, college student heading to the Navy, another headed for the Marines and someone who works with drug addicts every day, all with ideas and experiences to share from their point in life. I’m excited about what we are planning for that site and the goodies we will share with you for purchase – including yours. Yes. You heard me. Stay tuned.

Another New Site

With the help of one of my friends, Cre8pc content will move to a new home.  The domain and server are ready.  Stay tuned for when that launches.  I am looking for companies with SEO and Usability software applications and tools to sell to be included in this new site.  Tell me about what you have here.

Life

I am studying to be a Reiki healer. My daughter will be starting her own alternative healing practice and we wish to bring together our vast interests and studies. My leanings towards Native American spirituality are calling me again.

Tech and Digital Overload

Finding the best way to fit in everything I love to do has been a challenge. Some of my friends have left their companies to essentially wind things down and get their lives back. When you work in the tech industry, the effort it takes to keep up is tremendous and exhausting. Competition can mean destroying anyone in your path and using people to get what you want. Companies that don’t invest in their employees, care about their health and well being, monitor their every breath and refuse to nourish growth and creativity are zapping the life out of tech workers. For me, work meant never stopping to eat, getting exercise, and always needing to be plugged in. Even on camping trips, the campground had to have an Internet hookup plus water and power.

I am turning off the digital. Walking outside whenever I want. Spending time with my family and friends, who for so many years complained about not seeing me. Slowing it all down. Remembering to breathe. Having reasons to laugh. That last one is my favorite reason.

Follow my smile if you want to find me.

Happy Kim

True Internet Pioneer

True Internet Pioneer

An old friend wrote on my Facebook page, when I said I selling this site, “You are a true internet pioneer.”  And then others wrote to me.  Real friends.  Encouraging friends.

But what really got to me was the unhappy smile from my daughter when she learned I wanted to sell this site.  You see, this web site was launched when I was facing being a homeless single mom of two young children.  This website saved my life, several times.  The up-all-night working hours, while my kids slept on K-mart cushions (I could not afford beds) moonlighting in SEO, while working to earn my spot for a real job that paid enough for us to survive…this is the site that made that dream come true.

This is the site that taught SEO in the 1990’s.  It taught how to get sites into search engines, when there was a big pile of them to play with.  This is the website that became a blog in 2002, helping me build a private consulting business in web site usability testing.  It paid for my kids clothes, prom dresses, their car insurance, their sports equipment and contributed to their college payments.

They saw me go from working for a crazy boss who did not believe that his only webmaster, who built, maintained and got his 13 websites into search engines, deserved to be paid $5.00 and when I asked for a raise, since I was earning below poverty level, I was laid off.

They watched me fight my way to real jobs, with famous companies.  At one of them, I had an incredible manager who believed in me and encouraged me to keep learning, growing and from that, I developed my own usability testing methodology to go with the SEO I knew backwards and forwards.  His influence was my bright star.  It led me to other mentors and then clients who loved my work.  I remember them all and am grateful to them to this day.

This site sustained me when I needed a place to write.  It kept me out there, in case someone needed affordable help.  I never charged what I was worth.  In fact, that became part of my brand.

Because for me, it was never about getting rich.

For me, my kids needed beds. I won’t sell this site.  It has a story to tell.  I haven’t figured out how to tell it yet.

Maybe I will have grand kids someday.

They will like these balloons.
In my happy place

Holistic SEO and Usability and Cre8pc Not Forgotten

Holistic SEO and Usability and Cre8pc Not Forgotten

For the nearly 20 years that I have been building, optimizing and testing websites, there are always those people who think I’m a weeny who knows nothing.

This recent testimonial, written by a someone I have known for a long time, came as a surprise.  I know what makes a website work for ALL people, not just those who own the site.  I am the only person that I know of trained in SEO, UX, IA, Accessibility and software QA testing. Kim at Pubcon To stay on top of all the trends, fads, algorithms, testing methodologies and neuroscience human behavior studies that are part of my work means I don’t sleep, take family vacations or know how to play baseball.

When someone remembers your contributions, it is a joyous thing. Holistic SEO and Usability and Cre8pc Below are parts of what “Grumpus”, who helped build Cre8asiteforums, wrote:

Very early on, I realized that Google was hitting the scene, but it wasn’t very good at indexing this “dynamic” content generated by programmed web sites. At that point, Alta Vista was the “established” search engine, but we knew that Google would be the king within a year or so. With some hit and miss experiments in developing my Movie Soundtracks web site, I realized that structuring things a certain way, clear path to goal, and various other factors would encourage Google, AltaVista, and even good ole Slurp! (Yahoo’s spider back in the day) to not only harvest the data, but represent it better than most sites. So, at that point, I started looking around to try to find some people that actually understood what was going on with all this “search engine” stuff. I got very lucky, because in the very first few days, I managed to find Cre8asiteforums. I’d found a few other good forums and resources where I could talk to people and refine my “hit and miss” approach to figuring it out and turn it into something a bit more scientific, but it was the Cre8asite gang that really gave me what I needed. Of all, though, it was Kim Kopp Krause Berg aka Cre8pc (pronounced Create Peace) who made it all fit together in my head.

The point of this is that I’ve always felt sort of sorry for Kim. No, not for any lack of success, or anything like that. I’ve felt sorry that her chosen area of expertise gets no respect. There are some, like me who get it. Of course, the folks at Internet Marketing Ninjas who bought up the forum AND her talents last year get it. And, of course, most of the gang at Cre8asiteforums (then and now) get it, too. The article I’ve linked to below, here, is a good example of this.

The entire industry (especially as Google has evolved in recent years) understands and is vocalizing the importance of the ideas Kim has been trying to present for almost two decades, but they are still behind the curve when it comes to actually bothering put what they are preaching into practice.

Kim calls what she does a “Holistic” approach to web design. I’ve always called it a “Whole-istic” approach. Her real word and my made up word bear the same general meaning, though. It’s basically an understanding that a good web site that achieves its goals needs to look at the whole picture and it needs to be organized in a way that the user can do what they are trying to do, while it also encourages them to do what I, the web site owner, want them to do. With structure and ease of use as a foundation, all the other things fall into place a lot more easily. Your copy, graphics, calls to action, shopping system, blog pages, and all of that are the bricks and your usability is the mortar that holds it all together. The former things are the rooms in a giant house, and usability is the hallway that allows you to move from room to room (and that does clever things like putting the dining room next to the kitchen rather than upstairs at the end of the hall).

I’m glad that the industry is starting to come around and is at least starting to preach what Kim has been practicing since the mid 1990s. And, to be honest, I don’t really care if the rest of the industry ever starts to practice it (after all, if they don’t know how to do it, there will always be work for her, yeah?) I do hope that businesses start to get it, though.

To this day, when dealing with a new client, my most difficult obstacle is trying to explain the importance of Usability and all of that. Thanks to Kim’s lessons over the years, I’m much better at explaining exactly what the hell usability actually “is” – but it still always seems to be the first thing they want to cut when you start reaching the top of the budget plan.

THE REAL POINT of this post is for all of you other folks out there who have a web site for your business or charity and who want to make it work right…

You simply MUST find someone who understands the whole-istic approach. All the search engine traffic in the world will not help you if people can’t find what they are actually looking for. All the people who find what they are looking for do you no good if they can’t figure out how buy it or otherwise do what needs to be done once they’ve found it.

You can read the full piece here, including the comments by others.

It isn’t about me. This is about investing in the right resources and people to build your website, if your livelihood depends on the revenue from it. If they have never heard of holistic web design, or do not consider the needs of every person who visits your site, and especially if they are only concerned with faking out search engines, you are putting your business at risk.

Affordable Advertising Right Under Your Nose

Is your business known for its compassion or getting money no matter what or how?  What do people think of when they see your brand?  Generosity? Out of touch?

Affordable advertising opportunities are everywhere in plain view for local businesses to take advantage of or big corporations to show a different side of their company.  The solutions are simple.  Sponsorship.  Cheap advertising offered by charities.

I would put half page ads in my high school’s football program that went out at each game.  For the Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, I could afford a sign that they made for me that was staked along with others along the Relay walking path.  And, I got to keep it.

Raising funds for different charities, projects or sports over the years, I saw how people donated gorgeous baskets for raffles.  They would fill them with their products or items they simply chose, and stick in their business card and gift certificate for whomever won it.  Our tables would be filled with business cards, brochures and books donated by local authors.  Massage therapists would bring a chair and donate 15 minute massages.  The money would go to raise money for the cause, but people walked away meeting a new massage therapist they might hire again.  Local farms donate herbs, homemade soaps and jams.

Car dealerships, retail stores of all sizes, all kinds of eateries… you name it, they found a way to get involved at the local level.  Sponsoring Little League teams is popular.  A local realtor offers free hot air balloon rides every year at a local festival.

The goal is to keep your name out there so people remember your business and associate it with positive feelings.

Help Me. Help Your Company.  We are Team F.I.G.H.T.

I have one week to finish helping my team raise funds for Relay for Life.  We have a ways to go to make our goal of $2,500. The advertising options are below for download. Or, simply dedicate a luminary in the name of loved ones, at $10 each. We’re trying to raise money through a book sale to get money to buy roses to place by each luminary.

Forms for Download and Print

Sponsorship
Get a Sign
Opportunities $5 and up

Thank you

There’s No Getting Rid of That Usability Fanatic

Internet Marketing Ninjas Logo

My new yellow brick road.

On October 1, 2012 I began working for Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired Cre8pc.com from taking on new client work. It’s been a whirlwind of activity ever since.

Deciding what to do with Cre8pc has been a struggle because I didn’t know how to use it in my new life as an employee for someone else. This site was once how I moonlighted at night as a freelancer in SEO after working full-time during the day as a user interface engineer for two large corporations. This time I’m lucky if I have time to eat or sleep, let alone freelance.

The Mysterious World of Usability

I’ve reviewed, audited and tested hundreds and hundreds of web sites by now. In fact, I did so much secret “white label” projects on an NDA basis that I lost count of how many famous sites I had input in, and they never knew it. I’ve worked on web sites of all sizes, verticals, industries, and bartered for local site work where in return for helping a local person or business get a site up, I get massage therapy, grand artwork, discounts and nice thank you notes.

No matter what type of web site I work on, each one has the exact same problem. They invest in web site promotion but not web site design. Sometimes I wonder if advertisers will ever make an attempt to satisfy the people they target. All the money funneled into PPC, ads, adsense, paid links, sponsored positions, Facebook ads, local search directories, SEO for rank and keyword research is only as good as the landing page people find themselves on. If a homepage, product page, category page, video or online application, like hotel bookings or a saved shopping cart, are not designed to carry out the promise that brought the searcher there, what is the point?

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