Posts Tagged 'google'

Argyle vs. North St. – size comparison


So just how big is our North St. Branch property?

Using Google Maps, you can see exactly how big it is in comparison with our Argyle Branch property – the red-circled spot on the map above.

At the bottom, you can see our North St. property, which – as of this snapshot – is still a big green, grassy field. The white box overlaying the field is the entire property on Argyle St.

North St. is going to be big.

We need your help on Yahoo!


Do a search on Yahoo! (or even Google) for “jackson, mi credit unions” and, surprisingly, American 1 is pretty hard to find. Even though we’re the largest credit union in the area, we get little search engine respect.

Take the Yahoo! search results. The top result for American 1 comes up as our drive-thru, not our Home Office (that ranks #20). Even our popular Parnall and Argyle Branches are low on the search engine totem pole (Battle Creek is #20, while Hillsdale is #3).

Part of those results come from the goofy way the phone book lists American 1. Look us up in the Yellow Pages, and you’ll find a bunch of random numbers and addresses that don’t correspond to our branches. That’s because our ATMs run on phone lines, and so the phone books take those phone numbers and list them as branches. Weird, huh? Yahoo! must use the same information the phone books do.

So here’s where you come in. Head to the search results above and look for your favorite American 1 branch. If you have a Yahoo! account, go ahead and write a little review of the branch you visit the most. Our hope is that the branches will rise to the top, ahead of those silly ATM listings, so that we’ll be easier to find for people who are looking for a local credit union.

If you don’t have a Yahoo! account, it’s easy to get one. Then you can use Yahoo! mail or a Flickr account (we have one, and we love it), or any number of the many services Yahoo! provides.

Google is another story. A lot of their search results come from what’s listed on your webpage – so we’re looking to post our address more prominently on the homepage, just to see if it helps.

Why it’s good to have a backup plan

The collapse of Washington Mutual was called the “biggest bank failure of all time,” meaning that – in today’s times – no one is “too big to fail.”

So it’s good to have a backup plan. That’s what blogger Khoi Vinh recommends, especially when it comes to anything you have stored online.

This advice is applicable to most areas of our lives: fire escape plans, fire-proof lock boxes for valuables, generators for power outages, etc. Planning “just in case” can be a real lifesaver.

Just this week, I had an instance where I’m glad we made a backup plan. Our marketing department stores our files (ads, newsletters, web site graphics, etc.) on a network disk. That network disk has failed before, and the first time we had no backup plan. We lost all our files in an instant. Then we started to store our files on our work computers, and copy them to the network disk. But that didn’t always happen, so when our network drive went down again, Marketing had a big scare. Luckily, we were able to recover most (but still not all) of our files.

After that crash, we bought an external hard drive to backup all of our files. I do this personally every other day or so: move files from the network disk to the external disk. So when we lost our network drive again this week (thankfully, only briefly), I didn’t freak out. We had a backup plan.

Do you? If you store files online, like we do over at our Flickr account, do you have them stored somewhere physical? What about your money? Do you have a few dollars of spare cash hidden somewhere, just in case? Maybe a spare gas can for those “uh oh” moments?

Vinh’s bigger point is that, anymore, no one is “too big to fail”:

The size of a company is certainly not a reliable shield against failure, but being small doesn’t necessarily guarantee a company will be around in the long term, either. I just don’t think that it’s realistic to assume that all of the data we’re storing online is safe. So a friendly reminder: back up.

He makes the point about online items (Facebook profiles, e-mail messages, banking information), but the point can go further to life in general.

What about American 1? What’s our backup plan?

For one, American 1 prepares for tough times by setting aside extra funds for things like delinquent loans. A lot of financial institutions get in trouble by not saving enough for a rainy day. Not us. We like to make sure there are enough reserves set aside to cover ourselves during times like these.

You know, just in case.

You don’t have to be a paranoid person to realize that unexpected things happen. A wise person will set time aside to think about the “what ifs” life throws at us, and plan for them as much as possible. That’s what American 1 is doing. How about you?

American 1 Federal Credit Union