Participation: Is It the Key to Interactive Marketing and Social Media Strategy

Over the past several months, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon. Well, it’s maybe not so much a phenomenon as it is an occurrence I’ve been noticing. With the extremely rapid growth of social media over the last few years, I’ve noticed many people claiming to be “experts” in this field. I also see many managers claiming to or acting as if they “get” interactive marketing and social media. When in reality, I don’t believe they do “get it” at all. Continue reading “Participation: Is It the Key to Interactive Marketing and Social Media Strategy”

Bloggers: Learn to Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

31 Days to Build a Better Blog Work Book (31DBBB)Blogging has grown to become a hobby for many web enthusiasts throughout the world. For many, blogging has actually become a way to earn a full-time income. While the vast majority of bloggers do not set out to earn money through blogging, it has become increasingly realistic for dedicated bloggers to make some decent money through their blogging efforts. Choose a topic that you are passionate about and share your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge with the world! You are bound to find a tribe of people with similar passions who are interested in what you have to say. While I am by no means a professional blogger, I am very interested in the idea of being able to earn money while pursuing one’s passion.

I started blogging several years ago. At the time I was pursuing several freelance website design projects and was interested in learning all I could about online marketing. I decided to return to school as it’s been a goal of mine to earn a master’s degree. While I wanted to keep up with my side projects, I just couldn’t as I was really focused on my school work. So, my blogging efforts took a hiatus. Continue reading “Bloggers: Learn to Build a Better Blog in 31 Days”

Top-of-the-Line Texture and Background Image Resource Websites

I am currently working on a new website design project. For this new project, I decided I wanted to play around with using a real-world texture or photograph as a prominent part of the background. This is a trend that’s gained quite a bit of momentum over the last year. So, I thought I’d play around with the idea for at least one of the concepts I design for this project.

I have an idea of the types of images I’d like to use. So, where do I start? Do I grab my camera and start taking my own photographs in hopes that I’ll capture a nice image I can use? Do I search the internet to see what textures are available? While I do love photography, I don’t have the best camera or tons of spare time. So, I decided to look around online to see what texture and background image resources I could find.

During my online digging, I came across several great texture websites. So, I decided to write a post to share a few of these great sites with you. Even if you don’t use them, maybe they’ll provide a little design inspiration. So, without further ado, here is my list of top-of-the-line website design texture and background image websites. Continue reading “Top-of-the-Line Texture and Background Image Resource Websites”

Working Through a Logo Design Project: The Process

Now that school is completed for the summer, I am able to focus on some personal projects that I’ve had to put off. School has been consuming most of my non-working hours (I’m currently working on a master’s degree). While I love school and am learning tons, not only about business, marketing, and advertising, but also about myself, I hate the fact that it eats up so much of my time. There are several projects that I’ve had to hold off on starting while in school. So, I decided not to take any courses over the summer so that I can focus on those projects. Plus, I just needed a break!

The first project that I am taking on is a blog project. While I am not ready to release any details, mainly because I am just in the early stages of developing my plan, I wanted to write a post about the process I am following as I design the logo and identity for this project. I have a few options, but am having a difficult time selecting one design to push forward. I thought I needed to take a break and focus on what goes into creating and selecting a logo. Continue reading “Working Through a Logo Design Project: The Process”

Celebrate the Art of Music on Record Store Day

Record Store Day April 18, 2009Growing up, I was always drawn to music. I still remember the first walkman I received. My walkman gave me the ability to take my music, the custom playlists I would spend hours putting together by recording my favorite songs from multiple cassette tapes, with me where ever I went. Music has always been a great escape for me. It’s funny that it took me until later in life to truly realize the impact music has played in my life.

Looking back on my teenage years, I had a great group of friends. Many of whom shared my love of music. Before we could drive, we’d have our parents drop us off at the mall or at the local indie record store. We’d spend hours just digging through tapes and records of our favorite bands. It was always a treat when we were able to go see a show at First Avenue. We’d get dropped off early and spend time rummaging through the records at a local indie record store. Yesterday, I was reminded of the joy that I had back then when I came across the Record Store Day website. Continue reading “Celebrate the Art of Music on Record Store Day”

A Great Tutorial Site for Learning Photoshop, Photography, Blogging, & More!

I make it a habit of trying to read a new quote everyday. Actually, I post the quote I read to my Twitter account everyday (if you’re following me and this annoys you…I apologize). Basically what I do is to look up a quote on whatever topic I am thinking about at the moment. Lately, I’ve been thinking about continued education and the desire I have to continually push myself to learn new things. The other day, I read a quote from Henry Ford in which he stated “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. What a great, and very true, statement!

I am currently working on a Master’s degree and have found tons of value in it. However, I often wonder if the degree is really necessary or if I could focus my educational efforts in a more personal and customized format that would ultimately be a better fit based on my career aspirations. I do see the value in the work I am doing for my Master’s degree, however, I have also found tons of valuable learning resources online. Of the many benefits the Internet has given us, the one I think has been the most impactful on me is the amount of great learning resources out there! Continue reading “A Great Tutorial Site for Learning Photoshop, Photography, Blogging, & More!”

10 Great Website Design Gallery Showcases

Inspiration is a key component in the design process for me. Creative block seems to rear its ugly head in the most inconvenient times. In order to get back into creative flow, I’ll utilize many different sources of inspiration. Sometimes, it’s as simple as getting up from my desk and taking a walk outside. Other times, I’ll listen to different types of music. One of the chief sources of inspiration I turn to for website design projects is to look at the work of other leading designers.

For this type of creative inspiration, I often turn to website design galleries. So, I thought I’d write a post that highlights ten of my favorite website design galleries. I hope that you find these useful and I encourage you to share other galleries that I may have missed in the comments below. Continue reading “10 Great Website Design Gallery Showcases”

Vote for the Top Web 2.0 Apps and Web Services in CNET’s Webware 100

Back in 2007 CNET started an award program called the Webware 100. This is CNET’s annual program in which CNET readers are encouraged to select and vote for the top web applications and web services out there today.

Readers are able to vote for their picks from the list of 300 finalists selected by CNET. There were about 5,000 qualifying submissions. So, the 300 are really the cream of the crop. The finalists have been organized into ten key categories. Continue reading “Vote for the Top Web 2.0 Apps and Web Services in CNET’s Webware 100”