Archive for February, 2011

postheadericon Design Your Future At the Right School

So you’re passionate about web design and perhaps you’re contemplating enrolling in a web design program or institution. Now what? Well it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. When you’re searching for the perfect design school it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the variety of options out there. Which is why you should prepare yourself by becoming aware of any preliminary factors to applying to a web design college or university before you decide which application to submit.

Know your Focus First and foremost, while you know that you want to be a web designer, it’s important to know your focus within the program. Since not every design school has the same curriculum, it’s good to know what courses you’re walking into before hand and whether or not they would be beneficial to your focus. There are plenty of roles you can take on as a designer and it’s good to know exactly what it is you want to do with your web design education and what kind of role you want to play in the web design world.

Know the Requirements You should know the requirements for a web design program. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or may be interested in continuing your education after attaining your college degree somewhere else, each college or university has their own preliminary requirements for entering their web design program. Although a lot of the criteria consist of general and common courses, pre-requisite classes and exams may be required before you can qualify to submit an application.

It’s also wise to know which schools are accredited and which are not so if you ever want to transfer or attain an additional degree at another institution, you want to make sure your credits transfer without a problem. If the school is not accredited you can become at risk for non transferable credits and ultimately may have to retake some courses. Not only that but if you graduate from an accredited school, your degree holds a much higher value.

Know the Curriculum It doesn’t hurt to visit the college or university’s website so you can catch a glimpse at the courses and course descriptions. This helps you prepare both mentally and financially when it comes to the course work-load, the information you will learn from your web design courses, any additional supplies you may need as well as textbooks.

Whether you’re considering attending a college campus or an online university, you can’t go wrong figuring out the basics of your search. Your dream web design school isn’t too far from your reach! As long as you do your research early, figure out what it is you really want to do within the field of web design and prepare yourself from there, you can’t go wrong. Remember to find what fits YOU best and the rest will fall into place. Good luck with your search!

postheadericon Top 5 Facebook Brand Designs

…At least according to me! I stumbled upon tons and tons of Facebook fan page designs for some of the most recognized and creative brands of our time. Check them out below and let us know if there are any that you like as well or any that you want us to know about!

Red Bull

Smashing Magazine

Inspired Magazine

Livescribe

Blackberry

Pretty cool huh?Have you guys run across any enticing brand pages on Facebook? Do share!

postheadericon Super Bowl Ad Blitz Winner

The votes are in for the 2011 YouTube Super Bowl Ad Blitz competition! Did your favorite ad win?

Well let’s find out…..drum roll please!

Click below for the winner of the Super Bowl Ad Blitz commercial as well as the runners up!

SUPER BOWL AD BLITZ WINNER!

postheadericon Super Bowl Ad Blitz

I know most people get excited when the Super Bowl comes around every year, mainly for the competition and the game itself. But for me, I get the most amped by the advertisements that will premier during the popular televised event. This year was no exception, especially after last year’s amusing and highly entertaining ad lineup. I anticipated a just-as-strong, if not stronger, lineup this year. So the question is, what was the best advertisement during the telecast? Was it any of the numerous and comical Doritos commercials? Did E -Trade keep us entertained while creating enough controversy again? Or did Chrysler take the crown with their ultra smooth and clever ads?

With that being said, Youtube has once again created the ad blitz contest gallery of Super Bowl ads that premiered the night of the big game. They’re asking for users to watch the ads and vote on their favorite one by February 14, 2011. According to the site, “The winning ad will receive ultimate video glory with YouTube homepage recognition on Feb 19th”. Voting will close at exactly 11:59 pm on the night of Feb. 14th so hurry and cast your vote!

I can’t wait to see which one will come out on top. I voted, in case you were wondering, and no I will not share who I voted for until the voting is closed and that’s that! I’d rather not influence anyone’s decision. Ha!

Go to the site below, cast your vote, and stay tuned to Feb. 19th to see which commercial made the Number 1 spot! We’ll make a post to announce the winner!

In the meantime, leave us a comment and share with us who you voted for. We love hearing  your input!

http://www.youtube.com/user/adblitz?feature=ticker

postheadericon How You Doin’ Twitter?

While Facebook is the reigning King of social media, it may need to make some room for another social network that’s gaining some momentum in the interactive race.  It’s no secret that Twitter has become an online phenomenon, I mean who doesn’t wake up first thing in the morning and check their Twitter time-line to see what they missed during their hours of slumber? It’s almost calming to know that much activity can still go on even when you’re not a part of it at that moment. It’s like the social network that never sleeps. But I digress…

Recently the Pew Research Center and the eMarketer conducted surveys and studies regarding Twitter’s current status in the digital world and have even made predictions regarding Twitter’s future. So how do you think the site did? I’ve included some of their statistics that may exhibit some astounding and surprising information about where the site currently is and where it could be in just a matter of a year.  Are we ready to turn over the crown to Twitter eventually?

One thing that can definitely be said is that Twitter is on a roll when it comes to overall earned revenue and even predicted increases in the network’s 2011 ad revenue. Just last year Twitter generated $45 million and is expected to make a huge jump by over $100 million this year.

The Pew Research Center has analyzed the typical Twitter user and their behavior when using the social site. Surprisingly despite the success Twitter has seen and will continue to see in ad spending, the percentages for the demographics that utilize the service were slimmer than I had imagined. In fact it seems that even though there are millions of people that sign up for the online social service only 8% of online adults said they do use Twitter, with 2% doing so on a typical day. The survey also exemplified that 74% of American adults are Internet users, which means that the Twitter cohort amounts to 6% of the entire adult population.

I would’ve thought those numbers would be bigger. But in due time I can only imagine how much these figures will increase within the next couple of years, especially considering the predictions being made regarding Twitter’s successful ad revenues and increasingly amount of accounts being opened each year. In fact at least 100 million accounts were opened just in the year 2010. Can you imagine by 2014 or 2015?

All we can say is stay tuned and keep a close observation on the evolution of social media. I have a feeling that these social networks will not only change the face of the internet and how we use it, but may even change the world. Imagine that.

postheadericon Inspire Your Own Creativity

Don’t you hate it when you encounter spontaneous inspiration by something or someone but you forget the idea later or it’s not as innovative as it was initially? In the world of internet marketing it’s pretty easy to run into writer’s block or develop a brain freeze when trying to focus. Whether you’re trying to conjure up creative marketing campaign strategies or trying to clear your mind so you can tackle your reporting routine, there are plenty of ways to ignite that creative spark and effective thought process. Well I’ve outlined 10 essential and effective tips that have helped inspire my own creativity and have also helped me keep track of  my creative efforts.

1.       Record your ideas. It’s always beneficial to have a pen and paper on hand for those light bulb moments. Or even better, browse your mobile device for notepad like apps to record and organize your thoughts.

2.       If you dream it, you can conceive it. Daydream, doodle, ask questions, etc. All of these techniques will get your creative thought process going and will eventually manifest into reality.

3.       Do not focus on the competition…excessively. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing just enough so that you stay in the loop on what is and isn’t effective. But don’t obsess over their approach otherwise you can’t stick to your own identity.

4.       Brainstorm ideas with people you trust with your ideas and who know you well enough to give you genuine input.

5.       Eat Healthy. Spinach, milk, salmon, whole grain pasta, tofu and sunflower seeds are all proven to make you feel happier and more creative.

6.       Sleep on it. Sleep is a great aid in the thought process. Taking a power nap can refuel your brain and generate more room for your creative objectives.

7.       Listen to music. I’ve found that classical and jazz music soothes my brain and sparks creative energy.

8.       Exercise. This is a great way to clear your mind so that ideas will have room to pour in and out…of course once you get your mind off the pain in your body.

9.       Walk away. When you run into writer’s block or hit a creative wall, sometimes you should just stop, walk away, and then come back to what you’re doing. Sometimes when you’re focusing so much for such a long period of time, your brain can hit a roadblock. Give it a break and it will come back to you.

10.   Love what you do.  Have a passion for what you do and trust yourself. Confidence is a significant trait to have when you’re really trying to put things in full gear.

postheadericon Every Generation Has Its Day

A recent Pew Research study was done in an attempt to differentiate various generations and their unique roles as web users. Some of the information they retrieved was pretty interesting. I don’t know about you and your family; but I know my siblings, parents, and grandparents utilize the internet for many different reasons. Not to mention the older generations in my family aren’t naturally as tech savvy nor do they really spend as much time online as say myself or my younger siblings who are just now hitting the “tween” ages. This may be the same within your family tree, or it may not be. Let’s take a peak and see what the Pew Research Center found to be an average depiction of what our generations are doing online.

First and foremost, how about we break down exactly what the different generations mean, shall we?

Generations
Generation name Birth years, Ages in 2010 % of total adult population % of internet-using population
Millennials Born 1977-1992, Ages 18-33 30% 35%
Gen X Born 1965-1976, Ages 34-45 19 21
Younger Boomers Born 1955-1964, Ages 46-55 20 20
Older Boomers Born 1946-1954, Ages 56-64 14 13
Silent Generation Born 1937-1945, Ages 65-73 7 5
G.I. Generation Born -1936, Age 74+ 9 3
Source: Pew Research, December 2010

So now that we know who’s who, let’s dissect what we and they are doing with their time online. Do any of the generations have anything in common as web users?

Online Activities (% of Generation Group)
% Engaging
Activity Teens Millennials Gen X Younger Boomers Older Boomers Silent Gen. G.I. Gen. All adultsAge 18+
Go online 93% 95% 86% 81% 76% 58% 30% 79%
Teens and/or Millennials are more likely to engage in the following activities compared with older users
Watch a video 57 80 66 62 55 44 20 66
Use social network sites 73 83 62 50 43 34 16 61
Send IMs 67 66 52 35 30 29 4 47
Play online games 78 50 38 26 28 25 18 35
Read blogs 49 43 34 27 25 23 15 32
Visit a virtual world 8 4 4 4 3 3 1 4
Activities where Gen X users or older generations dominate
Visit a government website * 61 75 73 69 56 41 67
Get financial info * 33 38 41 41 44 30 38
For some activities, the youngest and oldest cohorts may differ, but there is less variation overall
Send or read e-mail 73 96 94 91 93 90 88 94
Use a search engine * 92 87 86 87 82 72 87
Look for health info 31 85 84 84 85 76 59 83
Get news 62 76 79 76 76 67 54 75
Buy a product 48 68 66 64 69 59 57 66
Make travel reservations * 64 67 70 67 61 53 66
Bank online * 62 62 58 56 44 35 58
Use online classifieds * 64 58 49 42 30 17 53
Listen to music online * 65 58 48 38 25 12 51
Look for religious info * 31 35 34 33 26 28 32
Rate a product, service or person * 32 32 29 40 38 16 32
Participate in an auction * 28 31 25 25 13 7 26
Make a charitable donation * 21 24 24 23 20 13 22
Download podcasts * 26 20 20 16 12 10 21
Work on own blog 14 18 16 11 11 8 5 14
Source: Pew Research, December 2010
So now that we’ve analyzed these statistics, what do we make of them? Well it’s definitely clear that the younger generations have the most presence online when it comes to: use of social networking sites, instant messaging, use of online classifieds, playing online games, listening to music, reading blogs, and participating in virtual worlds. No surprise there though right?

Take a look at the entire report to get more insight on the generations of internet users and maybe we can catch a glimpse of the future from their findings.

postheadericon Interesting Online Marketing Trend Tidbits

I stumbled across some pretty intriguing information regarding anything and everything an online marketer would want to identify their typical consumer’s profile  and when targeting their ideal audience. Check out some of the interesting tidbits I collected while navigating through different online infographics. Hopefully this will help some of you on your journey to successful internet marketing and even more specifically social media marketing!

Enjoy!

How Global Users Spend Their Time Online

  • Percentage of User’s Time Spent Online: 22% Social Media; 42% Viewing Content; 36% e-mail, e-commerce and other.
  • The average American spends up to 60 hours a month online which equates to 30 days a year.

via Visual Economics

via Marketing Pilgrim

Also:

  • 61% of adult internet users view videos online and 61% view online videos on a video sharing site.
  • The most common online video viewing and sharing age group is 18-29 at 78%, 30-49 age groups at 66% and 45% of 50+ ages watch videos online.
  • Men appear to watch more online videos than women. In fact 65% of men watch online videos while only 57% of women do.
  • The most popular age demographic in the blogosphere is the 35-44 age group with 28% and following closely behind at 25% are bloggers aged 25-34.
  • When it comes to what age group utilizes the internet the most, ages  18-29 spend more time online at 93%!

What do you think about some of these statistics?