Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@outlook.com) is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services and capabilities are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Follow him on Google+. He also publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain.

So You Want to be a Forensic Accountant?

By Dennis D. McDonald

Tracy Coenen’s FRAUDFILES blog is this week’s Linkedin Bloggers Blog Boost target. I’ve read a number of the postings on her blog and have learned a lot in the process about “forensic accounting” that I did not know before.

What, you don’t know what “forensic accounting” is? Well, check out this category of posts on Tracy’s blog (this blog is well indexed) and you’ll find out.

I do have some questions and comments about the blog which I’ll summarize here.

  1. This is an example of a combined company web site (Coenen’s forensic accounting firm) and her blog (which combines news with Tracy’s interesting comments on corporate affairs related to fraud, theft, and general financial wrongdoing). It’s not always clear when you’re on the blog and when you’re on the web site, and it’s easy to confuse the “home” link at the top with a blog’s “home” page. Perhaps color wise or typographically the two sections could be made to be more obviously different? 
  2. Tracy’s blog does not allow comments. I’m wondering if this is a trend caused by the increasingly onerous nature of comment spam. I’m lucky to have a vendor (Squarespace) that does an excellent job of preventing most comments spam, but I know other bloggers who, literally, have turned off their commenting feature since they get so much comment spam. Since I’m one of those who believes in leaving comments as a way to get a dialog going (as well as link backs to my blog) I find the lack of a comment feature to be a major annoyance when visiting a blog that has interesting information, like Tracy’s. In fact, the lack of a comment feature on a blog makes the blog look and feel like, well, like a common web site, which I know is not the intention. Perhaps Tracy could add more features to enable feedback, such as more prominent email or contact information, to soften the blow of accepting no comments?
  3. One of the things I like about Tracy’s blog is that she has pages with multiple article summaries. You click on a link to get the whole article. I do the same thing on my own front page and index pages. I think it’s a useful feature that removes the need for visitors to scroll down through long postings to get down to the next one — and I write long postings! The only caveat I give to Tracy’s approach is that the links to the full articles aren’t always that explicit. A couple of periods at the bottom of the posting […] indicates that there’s more. You must then click on the title, not the periods, to go to the full article; this could be more explicit.
  4. Color-wise, I find the blog a bit monotonous. Maybe another color (e.g., for the text of headings) might spice things up a bit. (Mind you, that suggestion comes from someone whose blog’s primary color scheme consists of the exotic combination of red, white, blue, and gray!)

That said, I enjoy Tracy’s blog. It’s not the same old Web 2.0, collaboration, project management, and technology stuff I write about all the time! Vive la difference!

Copyright (c) 2006 by Dennis D. McDonald

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