Posts tagged #techniques

Live Content Marketing Best Practices

You know live content has begun to take full steam when it appears in your Facebook mobile application. It’s funny to think that we can now look at UI/UX implementation with industry-leading applications as a precursor to content deployment, but such is the case with this phenomenon. Live content is not anything new. We’ve enjoyed it for ages, from storytellers to playwrights, from the radio to the television.

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Blog Posts Are Where You Find Them

A close friend of mine and I were talking online the other day about 'what he wants to be when he grows up,' so to speak, and one of the things I advocated is that he write a blog. Not only is a blog a good hobby that increases your writing and literary skills, but it separates you from many in whatever particular vertical that you're in. His response is quite common in that "I don't feel like I do anything special, at least not enough that someone would want to read about it." Well let me tell you a little bit about this person and you tell me if it wouldn't peek your interest.

He's a 23-year-old pop/metal musician; he's going to school for web design and graphic design; he's a budding self-taught photographer that captures amazing images; he works as a fraudulent security investigator for a well known software developer; he wants to work with kids (in a high school concealing), especially those afflicted by meth addiction and he's struggling day-to-day in the current economy trying to find his way. Knowing this about him, he feels there's nothing to talk about!?! Well let me count the ways:

  • Write to upstart musicians that have never started a band, tell them how to find other like-mined musicians.
  • What do you look for in a singer?
  • How can you be a band on a budget?
  • What's good equipment on the cheap?
  • Push your music online for open feedback.
  • Talk about your job, what's right and what's wrong in the process.
  • What is the likely future of your position?
  • Talk about internal processes (be mindful not to out your company in so doing) and how they can be streamlined.
  • Talk about what inspires you as a person, musician, lover and friend.
  • Ask questions openly about your photography, music and design to solicit expert advice.
  • TALK ABOUT METH! It's going to be a hard pill to swallow but it's high time that America wake up to this epidemic.
  • Talk about what can help parents understand what to do, how to talk to their kids and what the warning signs are.
  • Talk about being 23 in a shitty economy.
  • Talk about your dreams.

There are countless other bullets I could put in this kid's gun, but the force is strong with this one and I hope to be his Obie-Wan (short of the dying in a light saber dual, though if you gotta' go that's not a bad way to step out). Thinking about this really inspired me to think about what I do when I get frustrated and cannot come up with something to say in my blog.

Therefore, here are some tips that just might help you as a creative resource:

  • Checkout Slideshare.net – post the presentation and write an evaluation of it and your takeaways.
  • Watch videos online, post them and write an evaluation of it.
  • 'Copy & Paste' a chat that you find funny, interesting or telling. (Be sure to let the other participant know that's what you're going to do)
  • Make up a chat you wish you had!
  • Things you overheard and how you interpret it.
  • Once you get enough blog posts, you can do a 'greatest hits' or 'best of' for that year.
  • Numbered lists! People LOVE numbered lists! 8 reasons why this, or 10 steps for maximum that.
  • Ratings and reviews of anything that you do with great frequency and could honestly answer blog comments about.
  • Go to TED.com, post a video and tell the reasons why.
  • Take some photos and post them to your photo sharing site of choice and tell people about those photos.
  • Construct your own ranking system for something that you use, do or interact with and make it a reoccurring post.
  • Create themed post for the month, season or holiday.
  • Expose your weaknesses and ask for help.
  • Take a topical moment in your life and post comparative viewpoints on that point.
  • Recant a story from your childhood.
  • Talk about the things/brands you use the most everyday and why you love or hate them.
  • Create a fictitious character and put them within a story as a metaphor to a directive.
  • Advocate charities and ways of being good to one another.

Going to the well - These are easy topics that you can always pull out for content and should be easy for you to write:

  • Talk about family.
  • Talk about your job.
  • Talk about something topical in the news (the faster you do this the more traffic it usually aggregates to your blog); be sure to link to your source.
  • Talk about your favorite things, hobbies, music and anything that will allow your reading audience to feel as if they have a deeper understanding, and more importantly, a more intimate connection to you and your posts.

Brilliant blog inspiration from brilliant bloggers:

Posted on December 19, 2010 and filed under Blogging, Interactive, Social Media, Storytelling.

100 Ways For Designers To Stay Young

It occurred to me today that one of the most important things one can do as they take on a career in advertising, design or digital pursuits is to stay young. I think it's probably one of my greater fears now that I'm climbing to 40 in this industry. So while I'm not the best in the world at it, I'm certainly not the worst. Here is a quick list you can start with on your road to the fountain of youth:

  1. Don't overlook terms and slang you don't understand look it up.
  2. Buy a video game console (I'm a Wii fan myself) and buy/play a game every few months.
  3. Watch highly trafficked YouTube videos at lunch.
  4. Walk up to a group of kids and ask them what music they're listening to.
  5. Go to a local music act, and a large concert a few times a year. Observe intently.
  6. Txt message on your phone.
  7. Decorate a friends kids room.
  8. Role-play in meetings.
  9. Setup a search column on your tweet deck for "Coolest, Dumbest" and related slang appropriate to your business.
  10. Drop the suit, pick up the jeans.
  11. Write down 10 things you think are cool and show it to a teenager and see if there's overlap.
  12. Design or marketing a toy.
  13. Find a friend with a Jeep and go "mudding."
  14. Hang out with a car club.
  15. Cover the break room table with butcher block paper and put out crayons and markers – all the time.
  16. Eavesdrop.
  17. Make a hopscotch path in your corporate parking lot.
  18. Tailgate at a college sporting event.
  19. Play with your kids. If you don't have any go to a friends house that does.
  20. Reconnect with books from your childhood.
  21. Design a live poster for a local band.
  22. Start a Nerf war with your staff.
  23. Have your staff create a logo for a kids product.
  24. Watch music videos (I recommend VIVO or MTV.com)
  25. Review your friends photos on Facebook regularly. Comment and ask questions.
  26. Go to a college house party.
  27. Play some old video games consoles.
  28. Go to an independent film festival.
  29. Go to SXSW.
  30. Go to a 'Extreme Sports' event.
  31. In spired your staff to decorate their offices as a reflection of themselves. Have them recreate it every year.
  32. Share music – with your kids.
  33. Attend a kids birthday party.
  34. Get a tattoo.
  35. Design some graffiti.
  36. Ask a teenager what their favorite products are? See if you can correlate any stylistic or brand affinities.
  37. Participate in open conversations online. (e.g. Linkedin.com's "Answers" area)
  38. Attend a LGBT event.
  39. Play a social game like Farmville or Mafia Wars for one week.
  40. Watch at a couple of hours or young television programming a week.
  41. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister.
  42. Have a groups of friends stay over a weekend, and not have weird swinger sex. Just "chillax."
  43. Babysit for a friend in need.
  44. Adopt an animal.
  45. Hang out in an Apple store for a day.
  46. Design a layout halfway, then invert it and complete it in its current state.
  47. Play "alphabet" and "punchbug" while driving.
  48. Don't step on cracks.
  49. Lift up your feet when you go over railroad tracks.
  50. Ask your parents and grandparents what their childhood was like.
  51. Go to Asian and European grocery stores and look at the designs for kids candy.
  52. Volunteer at a locally based community charity.
  53. Buy a huge box of Legos and put them in the break room.
  54. Go camping.
  55. Go to an arcade in the mall and play a roll of quarters.
  56. Be immature.
  57. Participate in a flash mob.
  58. Participate in a tweetup.
  59. Go to a skateboard shop and look over all the designs.
  60. Buy new fonts from young font houses.
  61. Go to a club that you wouldn't be caught dead in. Stay for a least a hour at the peak of intensity.
  62. Sing to your co-workers.
  63. Chew bubble gum.
  64. Take someone out on their 21 birthday.
  65. Take 10 photos a day with your cell phone.
  66. Throw a Frisbee outside when you should be working.
  67. Listen to a new genre of music for at least one week.
  68. Wear popular sneakers.
  69. Go to the mall. Observe people, fashion, interaction, products, product placement and the Ingress and egress of stores and how they flow people through merchandise.
  70. Go to an all day outdoor concert festival.
  71. "Shotgun" a beer.
  72. Go to IKEA.
  73. Watch Animea.
  74. Talk to the people next to you on plane trips.
  75. Collect something inexpensive and interesting (e.g. Lucky Cats, swizzel sticks, bottle caps)
  76. Play a harmless practical joke.
  77. Make fun and laugh at yourself.
  78. Dance unexpectedly in public.
  79. Go to a major theme park at least once a year.
  80. Mentally shop for a car with the mindset that you 18 and have 18k to spend.
  81. Buy, wear and trade t-shirts.
  82. Make little movies with your cell phone or dated technology.
  83. Go to a tattoo shop and look at the designs.
  84. Go to a dive bar.
  85. Go play pool in a dive bar.
  86. Play World of Warcraft for a week.
  87. Get thrown out of a dive bar.
  88. Go to Toy's R Us and watch what toys kids gravitate to.
  89. Do a pro-bono design to help children locally.
  90. Make up games to play at the office.
  91. Skip, ride a swing and climb some monkey bars.
  92. Take a morning and goto the airport for coffee and write down observances in fashion, communal interactions and various levels of intensity.
  93. Go to Babies R' Us and look at logos.
  94. Go to a live college sporting event.
  95. Play kick or dodge ball.
  96. Sit in the magazine section of Barnes & Noble and absorb as much as possible.
  97. Buy an entire outfit online – including shoes.
  98. Read a series of books aimed at your demo (e.g.  Twilight, Harry Potter, Where the Sidewalk Ends)
  99. Go buy some comic books.
  100. Talk to teenagers.
Posted on April 1, 2010 and filed under Design, Research, Soapbox.