'Websites' Category

Make your Content Appealing

Posted by Benjamin Taylor on November 19th, 2015 at 12:18 pm

We're all spoiled brats. Think about it for a moment. It used to be normal to search through fifty pounds of books to figure out if it was ok to serve pinot blanc with brie. It was either that or pick up the phone and call that one uncle you haven't talked to in eight years.  Oh how the world has changed! If I get a Yahoo Answers reply that's over 500 words, I cry TL;DR and move on.
Now I'm not saying that our streamlining of knowledge acquisition technology and the concurrent adjustment of expectations is necessarily a bad thing. I'm saying that we, as marketers and content creators, need to acknowledge that there is a new standard that we need to meet. It isn't good enough to have the right information. It needs to be presented in a way that is easy to read and easy to understand.
Our solution has been infographics. A properly built infographic is by far the best way to organize useful information in an appealing way. That isn't to say that there aren't drawbacks. Infographics are images, so Google's web crawlers can't see the content. This can make the whole post look like there is... Read more

Marketing Baseball Cards: Bubble, Boom or Bust?

Posted by Neal Leavitt on October 30th, 2015 at 5:54 pm

“Say it ain’t so Joe!”

Those words were supposedly uttered by a small boy outside the Cook County (IL) Courthouse to ‘Shoeless Joe’ Jackson. He had just finished testifying to a grand jury; one of eight Chicago White Sox baseball players who allegedly took bribes allowing the Cincinnati Reds to win the 1919 World Series. Jackson was banned from baseball after the 1920 season but was found innocent in 1921 by a jury.
Debates have raged for 90+ years on Jackson’s guilt or innocence; his baseball cards, however, have stood the test of time. Currently on eBay, for example, you can buy a 1909 E90-1 American Caramel rookie for $10,999.95. If you’ve got some spare change hidden in the sofa, you can grab a 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps Rookie RC #311 for only $38,795, also on eBay (with free shipping!). And in late April, a T206 Honus Wagner card sold at auction for $1.32 million.
While the market for certain types of baseball cards is still strong, a paucity of children and even teenagers at major baseball card shows in recent years appears to be the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Baseball card prices have been falling in recent years... Read more

Emerging Technologies Showcased at SIGGRAPH 2015 Could Be Tomorrow’s Products

Posted by Neal Leavitt on August 20th, 2015 at 6:23 pm

SIGGRAPH has always served as a unique forum for an array of cool and innovative technologies and computer graphics approaches. Last week’s SIGGRAPH 2015 conference continued the trend.
This marked the 42nd conference and exhibition; SIGGRAPH reported that almost 15,000 attendees, partners and media from 70+ nations descended upon the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Kristy Pron, SIGGRAPH’s Emerging Technologies Program Chair said at this year’s conference, “we wanted to find technologies that can be applied to daily life, whether it will be tomorrow or in a few years. We also wanted to uncover practical emerging technology apps from various industries such as automotive.”
So here are a few examples that are still in the nascent stage but could have real-world applications soon:
SemanticPaint – A collaborative effort by Microsoft, the University of Oxford and Stanford University. The SIGGRAPH demo unveiled what the research team says is a “new and interactive and online approach to 3D scene understanding.” The system lets users simultaneously scan their environment and interactively segments a scene by “reaching out and touching any desired object or surface.” Users have continuous live feedback online. The researchers further stated that errors can be immediately corrected in the segmentation and/or learning, which... Read more

Q&A: Chris Lindland, CEO of Betabrand on Newsjacking HP T-Gate (Video)

Posted by Rick Mathieson on July 31st, 2015 at 10:51 am

Betabrand knows how to break news. Or at least break into it.
The San Francisco-based online clothing company has a history of newsjacking—it made a name for itself when Mark Zuckerberg met with Wall Street bankers in (what else) a hoodie. Zuckerberg's sister Randi stumbled upon Betabrand's $148 Executive Hoodie (think worsted wool) and inventories instantly sold out.
Fast forward to this week, and the small brand has made an art of fast-turn content marketing that this week included a one-take video capitalizing on reports that Silicon Valley legend HP was banning t-shirts in its engineering department to recruit some engineers of its own.
That was Monday. On Tuesday I told CEO Chris Lindland that he had a hit on his hands. By Wednesday Adweek and FastCompany had covered the video. And whether responding to it or simply the news reports, HP Human Resources felt the need to post its own video reassuring employees that the ban was just an unfounded rumor.
I talked with Chris again this morning about his amazing week—and what is says about effective content marketing in general—and powerhouse newsjacking in particular.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO: Q&A: Chris Lindland, CEO of Betabrand on Newsjacking HP T-Gate

Can Technology Help Solve California’s Drought?

Posted by Neal Leavitt on July 26th, 2015 at 11:48 am

On April 1st, California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order mandating a substantial reduction in urban water consumption compared with 2013 levels. One key element - a 25% reduction in urban water use to help mitigate the state’s worst ongoing drought in more than a century.
And while a number of climatologists and meteorologists have predicted a better than 50% chance of an El Nino winter – which means greater than average rainfall- there’s no guarantee that the desperately needed rain will arrive.
Enter the Internet of Things (IoT). The drought has spawned a welter of startups and innovative partnerships with public agencies and the private sector that utilize the IoT to find smart solutions to manage both water distribution and electricity use.
A few examples:
The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) has teamed up with Candi Controls and MC Engineering to install a system of low-cost, industrial-class IoT devices. By collecting data from connected sensors, the system is helping to optimize distribution of reclaimed water among farmers and everyday users; it also minimizes energy by tracking usage and power consumption.
According to Tom Kouretas, an MRWPCA engineer, the agency is able to mitigate some of the costs associated with... Read more