Monday, September 29, 2014

Challenges and clarifications on responsive sites

The fact that we're consuming content from all sorts of devices - desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet - must be quite a technical challenge for web developers.  The sites they design so exquisitely must also navigate exquisitely,  regardless of device.  By the way, I haven't even mentioned smart watch and smart TV.  In the above article (click on the caption to read), William Johnson clarifies what is going on under the hood, which is helpful for developers and consumers alike.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Promoting your brand amid NFL fiasco

National Football League
ESPN Keith Olbermann calls the NFL the National Freefall League, and I call it the National Felony League.  Arguably the most formidable, wealthiest sports league in the world has been rocked with allegations, incidents and coverups on domestic violence and child abuse.  There are high profile brands that have mega-sponsorship deals with the league and-or particular teams, and they've been speaking out on the botched-up handling of these matters.  I've heard about Radisson, Anheuser-Busch, Proctor & Gamble, and Pepsi, but there are more: NFL Sponsors Speak Out - but Keep on Advertising

We diehard fans love our football, and while he may be disturbed by all the hell breaking loose in the NFL, and while we may tweet criticisms and concerns, we are all in, come game day.  So as long as the viewership, the attendance, and the purchases keep coming, advertisers will keep advertising.  Speaking out is good, but pulling out may not be an option for any of them, if the money keeps rolling in. 

But for your small business, brand or organization, be thoughtful about how you create your promotional efforts, video or otherwise.  If you genuinely support organizations that fight domestic violence and child abuse, then you may be in a good position leverage all the negative scrutiny the NFL has drawn for itself.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blogging via Microsoft Word looks easy

How to start blogging with Microsoft Word
I'm familiar with WordPress and Blogger, and they're reasonably easy to use.  Click on the caption above, and Alex Castle walks you through how to create your blog.  Blogger and Tumblr are my main platforms, and I work directly off of them when writing articles.  I never thought to work off of Word, but from what I can see, it's easy to do it this way.  Give it a try, if you like.  If you have the latest version of Office, click on File in the upper left corner of Word, then Share in the next window, and you find different options of posting on a blog.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tips for adults on keeping children safe online

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Mashable offers parents, teachers and counselors sound advice in 6 Expert Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe on Social Media:
  1. You may not like Facebook or Twitter, and may not have a clue as to how they work.  But if you have children, or are responsible for them, then you must learn and get involved in social media.  
  2. Set a reasonable but clear age limit, and do so based on how much your children show responsibility, knowledge and maturity.  
  3. Keep your guidance balanced: that is, talk about the benefits, enjoyment and purpose of social media, while making sure your children are aware of its risks and dangers. 
  4. Place the computer in a visible area in your home.  But if you've purchased an iPhone, Galaxy Note, or other smartphone for your children, they have a computer in their hands.  So make sure they're using such devices wisely.
  5. Set guidelines or rules is de rigueur.
  6. Check your children's privacy settings.  Of course, teach them what these settings mean, why they're important, and how to use them.   
Again, like it or not, know that social media, plus mobile devices are part of growing up in countries like the US.  As parents, teachers and counselors, you have the responsibility and the authority to manage their use of these things. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Frank Caliendo does promotions right

Impersonator Frank Caliendo feasts on sports figures for his act, and I see him now and then on ESPN.  Today I stumbled on his latest, at the comedic expense of NBA great Charles Barkley.  Just hilarious.

So there's the idea:  Someone like Caliendo 'humorizes' some famous lines in a film, and draws more viewers to the site.  Both the backdrop and the subtitle carry the Progressive promotional, in this case.

Alternatively: Caliendo impersonates particular people in sports, who directly promote whatever product or service, brand or film is on the table. 

What a way to reach the large sports market!

Just in case you haven't seen the following famous scene yet or recently:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

MIT admissions does blogging right

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If you blog about something that is genuinely interesting to you, then chances are you'll find an audience that suits your blog best.  So much of the advice on blogging and social media seems to center on making it relevant, engaging the audience, and doing it consistently.  Sound advice, to be sure.  But if you're not clear on why you're blogging and-or you're not really into whatever you're blogging about, then matters of relevance, engagement and consistency stand on shaky ground. 

Enter, MIT students.
Ten years after Ben Jones, former director of communications at MIT, and Matt McGann, current director of admissions at MIT, first conceived of using uncensored, student-generated content on the homepage of the undergraduate admissions website, the MIT Admissions Office celebrates an unparalleled decade of student blogging.

“These are, in my opinion, some of the best blogs that have ever been written for MIT Admissions," says Chris Peterson, assistant director of admissions. “If I could assign reading to prospective students like I can assign it to my students, I would have any serious applicant read all of these. I feel like I have learned so much — about MIT, about myself — by doing so.”
Reference: Undergraduate Admissions Office celebrates 10 years of student blogging.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Media and technology for good or bad

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The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, more commonly known as ISIS, seems more media and technology savvy than other terrorist groups.  As Official: American May Be Key in ISIS Social Media Blitz says, an American-Syrian who grew up and studied computer science in the US may be behind that savvy.

On occasion I still see article headlines that blame or praise social media for something about our modern day lives.  But social media and sophisticated technology are neutral in their own right.  They are simply platforms and tools to do a world of good or cast a pall of bad.  So whatever your purpose, choose well.