Small Presence Update

This is quick update on what I’ve been doing with Small Presence. Some of what follows is somewhat technical. I’ll try to highlight the main points for each.

I have been messing around with BIND 9 DNS for ns1/ which is where all our client sites will be pointing their domain names. I have worked with DNS before, but it’s been so long. I’ve now been able to get everything resolving well. I’m going to be looking into getting a 3rd party DNS server somewhere on the East coast of the US so that SP can take advantage of geo-diverse redundant DNS lookups. Yay. Till then, using the same authorative server is working for both ns1/ns2.

Tonight, I setup and tested a very basic Asterisk setup. Made an outgoing call on my laptop with its built-in microphone and everything was great. Asterisk didn’t even register 1% CPU usage on the VPS, which is awesome. Next, I need to do some voice prompts to build the interactive voice response menu. I also will be recording ALL calls with clients for both our records. I feel it will be a huge benefit of using Asterisk for phones. Being able to hear what we discussed will alleviate me having to talk and type when it’s not convenient. What I learn here will correlate directly to providing VOIP services to my small business clients in the future as far as a simple IVR system for their use. At that point I would use a dedicated Asterisk server. But ya gotta start somewhere.

I also have been working more on the work flow procedures for new clients and projects. Some of what I’ve come up with has been heavily influenced by my experiences at Raster Media. Right now I’m using a wiki-based system called WackoWiki for my initial client, project, and internal organization. I’m actually enjoying using such a flexible and abstract system. It’s helping form my vision for what SP will need as far as a custom management system. Very cool.

I’m still waiting to get my SP debit card in the mail. I should call the PMB center and ask if I have anything in, heh. At least the bank account is open now, though.

In other news, I’ve decided to open SP as an LLC as opposed to the current DBA structure. I’ve consulted with my Boss, Michael Smith from Raster Media and The Neo CEO, and he suggests that an LLC is worth the extra money since it buys me legal separateness from SP. I don’t foresee legal issues ever arising from SP clients, but no sense in pretending it doesn’t happen, especially now that my new home is almost closed(my first home actually). I don’t think my FiancĂ© would like that. Oh ya, I’m getting married March 6th. So that’s one reason why I haven’t finished editing my drafts nor publishing them lately.

That’s it for now. Keep coming back for more. Be sure to leave a comment if you have any suggestions or words of wisdom!

Recent Activity

Not a lot of progress has been made lately. I filed my DBA for Small Presence. I was going to go in to the bank on Monday and setup a checking account, but I ran out of time. I’m going to do that Monday. Then I’m going to setup the CDG merchant account over the weekend. I have client payments waiting to be billed and I’d like to use the new merchant account.

I have also decided to stay with the VPS server instead of investing money in owned and co-located hardware right now. I will setup asterisk on the VPS and use VoicePulse Connect with a local Las Vegas phone number to conduct my business. I see no need for a toll free number right now. I can’t justify the cost per minute and per month.

I have organized a lot of my data from different sources (like thumb drives, hard drives, and miscellaneous documents) for my projects so I can prioritize my goals.

I have come up with an awesome idea for viral marketing Small Presence once it’s up and running. That will most likely grow into its own project since I feel it has a lot of potential.

Small Presence is going to be my main priority in my list of goals since I have new client work in the queue and I really need to start battle testing my new flow with Small Presence.

On a side note about this blog, I am slowly telling my friends about it. I posted a link on my twitter and will soon post on Digg and see what kind of response I get. I may wait until I get a couple interviews published first though. So keep watching for those. I’m going to be interviewing Tim Ferriss and Andy Rutledge to start.