Archive for August, 2012


Multi-ScreenThe latest trend in marketing and social media is the rise of user multi-screening.   Tech Crunch says more customers are using several screens together for a richer information experience.  For instance, a customer may start looking up a product on their smartphone and continue the purchase on a PC or laptop.  Or they may begin watching a movie on TV and finish up on a tablet as they have to become mobile.  Small business must transition to make this experience as seamless as possible.  Failure to account for user changing metrics will spell failure for your business.

What does this mean to you?  Well, when contracting for digital services, more money will need to be budgeted to get a service or professional that offers responsive web services.  Also, all platforms will need to be integrated for seamless movement from one to the other.  This means SSL will become necessary to collect user information so they can keep connected.

The presentation below shows how Google thinks this trend is important.  And if Google thinks it is important, we had all better take note.
Multiscreenworld Final

socia mediaWhy blog?

Many small business owners and freelancers are confused by the multitude of social media options and how it can increase their reach.  Blogging is one way to increase the reach of any business provided the blog offers useful information presented in an engaging way.

Photos and video are one way of engaging readers, but sought after information consolidated in a non-confusing prose also can be useful to your readers.  Adding your social media contact buttons and website links can encourage readers to visit your sites and begin to recommend you.

In the loud, crowded Internet marketplace, recommendations as an expert in your field are like gold.  Recommendations separate you from fly-by-night shysters who only want to skim quick profits as opposed to building customer relationships that last.

How to get started?  Create a list of topics you are interested in and have experience with.  Write a bunch of random thoughts down.  They don’t need to be complete sentences or written nicely.  Just free form write whatever comes to mind.  Put it away for a day.  Come back and select a topic to expand on, then, do your research.  Look up information related to your topics that will be interesting to others.

Write two or three posts before beginning to publish and review them carefully for typos and grammar before publishing.  Choose free pics or graphics or make your own that relate to the topic.  Then link with social media to complete the circle.  All of the resources gather and increase traffic and traffic is the first step to online business success.

Stop by frequently for further blogging tips and let us know if this inspired you to start a blog.

Techsnoop loves all things tech and Sci-Fi so finding the pilot for the web series Tether is like an early Christmas present.  While the entire story arc has not been revealed, it is a post-apocalyptic Earth-based story with many mysteries that can be revealed slowly.  All the best elements for a great series.

The creators are seeking feedback and funding to continue this great project so be sure to click “like” if you enjoy this and consider contacting them regarding donations for future episodes.

Techsnoop will be rooting for this series to continue.

Happy Monday.  Time to crack open the coffee and Coke and get back to the design grind.  If you have no current projects, this is a great time to pre-solve some tricky procedures.

Unless you are a design guru, Techsnoop is sure many aspects of using files in After Effects has you scratching your head with “now what”.  Importing files and transforming them into spectacular works can be different every time.  But this great tutorial from Adobe TV should help clear the fog, at least with files created in Illustrator.

In the ever more crowded tablet market, Samsung has shoved another offering, the Galaxy Note 10.1.  Why, you may ask is this news?  Because they have added a split screen app to view content and take notes at the same time.  It also has an option to watch video and use apps at once.

Epic.  The ultimate work and play device.

Face it, other than entertainment, the purpuse of a tablet is to gather information on the go for later review or use.  The new note taking, and look-at capability makes the tablet into the Star Trek road warrior tool we have been waiting for.

CNET says this tablet will be available soon with a date to be announced in the next week.  While Samsung is aiming this tablet at the education market, the business users may want to take notice of the multitasking possibilities.

Let us know in the comments if this is the tablet you have been waiting for.

Branding is a complex process that involves a number of people and trial and error.  However if you are a small business start up you likely do not have funds to hire professional branding firms or to undertake extensive market research.

So how do you establish an identity for your business that will stand out in the crowd?  First check out the competition.  See what is working for other companies similar to yours.  Do not copy them, but make notes on things they have in common.  Color is a great place to start, for instance, blue is a highly used color in many logos and websites.  Blue conveys trust and dependability and so is used to create a bond between customer and business.  Black equates with value and sophistication and thus the rise of black websites and business cards.

Use tools like Kuler from Adobe to create and select complimentary colors for logos, text and website graphics.  The site allows you to upload a photo you like and create a color palette as well as creating color mixes on the fly.  Having a firm color choice can make the web design process faster and cheaper.  Colors create the tone and can suggest a theme for your company communications.

Instead of using expensive market research, try out your brand with a small run of business cards, Facebook cover, Twitter background and mailers.  Enlist friends and family as test audience.  As you collect customers, ask for honest feedback on your marketing materials.  Ask what made them come to you or what caught their eye.  Also ask what they feel doesn’t work as this is the critical part that needs changing.

Choose a graphic designer who is comfortable creating a logo and graphics that will evolve over time and will include this in the pricing.  Don’t expect your designer to make changes for free.  Know that designers charge based on time, talent and creativity.  The combination is what causes variation between designers.  If your budget is really low, you need to consider using an intern with the expectation that the project will take longer and quality may be less.

Finally, look at your brand carefully to make sure it feels right for you and your business.  The whole point of your brand is to convey your uniqueness, if this doesn’t come through the brand fails.

If you are a freelance designer or small business, time is premium and you may not have time to make every little detail of your web site or social media pages.  Techsnoop is here to help with a list of free icon downloads that will spice up your pages with a professional look with no extra effort on your part.  Use the extra time saved to bookmark our new location here at Techsnoop’s Helper and keep up with the freebie action.

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