Buckminster Fuller defined a concept known as synergy: the interaction or cooperation of two or more people. organizations or other elements to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their individual parts.
DesignWise synergy relates to personal interaction and teamwork…. the interaction of multiple individuals in a campaign working together to create an effect much greater than the sum of their individual efforts working apart. The term synergy comes from the Greek word synergia συνέργια from synergos, συνεργός, meaning “working together.” As a collaborative consulting firm, our team must include you …in whatever role(s) you wish to take on.
The days of the Webmaster are as outdated as the typewriter and much like revealing the true identity of the Wizard of Oz, we work with you to pull back the curtain, sharing knowledge, advice and any top “secrets” that will make your business rise to the forefront.
Schedulicity and Bookfresh are enticing appointment management applications, but ongoing monthly fees are annoying and they can get expensive.
When a client asked me to research a way for her to schedule phone consultations online via her Website, I started looking at alternatives to subscribing month-to-month for an online appointment booking service. Being a WordPress advocate, I knew there must be a ton of plugins that would do the job for free or for a flat fee, one-time purchase. DWBooster’s Appointment Booking Calendar merits my final stamp of approval as a great alternative, providing a free version and a Pro upgrade priced at $49.95.
Appointment Booking Calendar is a WordPress plugin that will permit you to accept payment and book online reservations for available time-slots in your appointment calendar. The booking form is easily linked to your PayPal payment account. You can use it to accept bookings for salons, phone consultations, classroom events, transportation or any other type of activity where a specific and limited time segment must be selected. It also allows you to define the maximum number of bookings that can be accepted for each time-slot. Click for a complete list of features and a comparison of the free vs the Pro versions.
If you are seeking to book daily reservations in a hospitality lodging environment, their Booking Calendar Contact Formplugin enables you to create a classic contact form or a booking form with a reservation calendar, optionally connected to a PayPal payment button. The reservation calendar lets the guest select their check-in and checkout dates. There are two types of bookings available in the calendar configuration: full-day bookings or partial-day bookings. With full-day bookings the whole day is blocked as reserved, while in partial-day bookings, the start and end dates are partially blocked as needed for example in room or hotel bookings.
If you need help installing and configuring these plugins, we are just a phone call 920.256.9449 or an email away.
“Writing is like mining for gold hidden in the hillsides of your mind.” – David Baboulene
Most fans already know the story of their favorite “local and natural” brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Kashi, Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s Bees. But not many fans are likely to know that these successful businesses have been bought by major corporations like Unilevel, Kellogg’s, Colgate-Palmolive and Clorox. In the case of Wisconsin’s own Alterra Coffee the founders simply sold their “story” to the beverage division of Mars, Inc., a corporate giant with $33 billion in annual sales and 72,000 employees.
“Fundamentally, we sold the seven letters that make up the name Alterra,” says co-owner Lincoln Fowler.
But in buying the Alterra name, Mars can say, as it does on its Website, that its coffee was born in Milwaukee in 1993 when three friends, “working nights while keeping their daytime businesses afloat,” needed a strong brew. “In order to get it,” the Website declares, next to a thumbnail photo of the popular and historic lakefront cafe Fowler and his partners opened in 2002, “they decided that they had to roast their own — and ALTERRA™ was born!”
That’s the sort of yarn you can’t simply invent and feed to consumers.
Judging by their success, Door County is a goldmine of business stories waiting to be dug up and sold…
Have you ever considered the value of your own business story? Trader Joe’s started out as a small chain of convenience stores back in the 1950′s. Nowadays, if you visit any of their stores or their Website, that story is displayed prominently in wall murals and as a timeline tale that celebrates their heritage.
On Wednesday, November 20 at Greens N Grains Cafe in Egg Harbor, the next Social Media Breakfast in Door County (SMBDC) will focus on “ Discovering and Telling Your Authentic Story… with more than words.”
Local is the watchword here in Door County. With the exception of gas stations and hardware stores, we present a very low national corporate affiliation, one that vanishes for the most part, north of Sturgeon Bay. That means that almost every business in Door County has a rich tale to tell. These stories are what make us unique and distinctive. They are the reason people from urban areas flock to visit here and partake in that local color.
Business Management Consultant Myrna Cohn spent more than 3 decades advising major corporate clients on marketing tactics and strategies. Several years ago, she retired from her career in Chicago to a more relaxed agenda in Baileys Harbor where she paints and teaches memoir writing.
“Each and every successful business has a rich and engaging story to tell.” Explains Myrna. “With the shift toward a social interactive landscape, advertising now becomes all about sharing that warm and friendly personal identity. What better way than to tell the story of how you got here?”
Myrna Cohn will provide a set of guidelines on how to begin shaping and creating the story of your business. I will join her in explaining how to use five different types of graphic media to add color to your narrative.
We’ll meet upstairs in the loft above the Greens N Grains Cafe from 9 – 10:30 am. Bring along your laptops or wireless devices and tap into free Wifi to share and comment online. Slides and Website examples will also be projected on a large backdrop screen.
Greens N Grains Cafe has a full service coffee bar and owner Kathy Navis says there will be a batch of fresh organic and natural bakery that may purchased downstairs and brought up to the 2nd floor loft
Door County’s monthly Social Media Breakfasts take place at different locations around the Peninsula on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 9 – 10:30 am. The events are free and reservations are not necessary. You can email email@example.com or call 920.256.9449 with questions on SMBDC. More information is available online at SMBDC.com and at www.facebook.com/SMBDC.
In an effort to bring more mobile users into the fold, Constant Contact today announced five new mobile partners in its AppConnect program. The move gives Constant Contact customers access to a new set of mobile email marketing tools, such as mobile email list building, location-aware text check-ins and more.
Through the company’s free RESTful API, third-party services can integrate with the email marketing service.
Contant Contact’s newest mobile marketing integration includes:
iCapture: An app you can use on your iPad or Android tablet to capture names, emails, and preferences from customers and add them to your Constant Contact account automatically. You can also use the feature offline to capture contact information at events or tradeshows.
RoundBuzz: A text check-in that allows businesses to collect email addresses by prompting customers to join their mailing list once they check-in to a store location. The app also lets small businesses offer customers discounts and rewards for checking-in.
AdLeads: Small businesses can grow their Constant Contact email list by creating a mobile sign-up ad through AdLeads. The mobile ad campaign will run across top mobile apps such as Where’s My Droid, iFishing, Color Effects, Battery Booster, top music apps and many others.
Ez Texting: A service that allows you to run a text messaging campaign to your Constant Contact email subscribers. Ez Texting helps small businesses promote their business, run text-to-join campaigns, polls and contests.
Mojaba: A mobile, Web publishing platform, Mojaba allows Constant Contact customers to create mobile sign-up forms to join Constant Contact mailing lists. You can choose the mailing list you want your contacts added to and the mobile form is automatically built with no programming required.
All of the new email marketing tools are available on the Constant Contact Marketplace.
Based in Waltham, MA, Contant Contact is an email marketing service that lets users create and manage email lists and professional looking newsletters.
“Mapping and Connecting the Nodes in a Social Blueprint” is the topic slated for the first monthly meeting of this season’s Social Media Breakfast Door County (SMBDC), a community learning concept spearheaded in the “off-season” by DesignWise Studios marketing consultant, Stephen Kastner.
“We’ll meet in the upstairs conference room at Glas, the Green Coffeehousein Sturgeon Bay from 9 – 10:30 am on Wednesday, October 16,” says Kastner “…and we shall begin the process of selecting, creating and then connecting the “dots” from Websites through all of the various channels we can use to communicate with a public fan base online. I call it a Social Blueprint.”
Glas features a variety of bakery and breakfast menu items as well as coffee beverages and tea that may be purchased downstairs and brought up to the 2nd floor conference room. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops and wireless devices in order to join in the dialogue as DesignWise will project a live Twitterstream comment display as the meeting takes place. Slides and Website examples will also be projected on a large backdrop screen.
Door County’s monthly Social Media Breakfasts take place at different locations around the Peninsula on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 9 – 10:30 am. The events are free and reservations are not necessary.
On Thursday, Sept. 26, Twitter announced, “We’ve put the photo front and center, with a bigger and bold visual focus on the media.”
This is one of several big changes that Twitter is rolling out. Since images invoke greater interaction (aka click-throughs), start by getting in the habit of including images in your Tweets. Then, embed those Tweets into an article wherever relevant and meaningful. Embedding a Tweet into your WP post is effortless as WordPress explains: First locate the tweet you want to post. Then click the timestamp. You’ll be taken to the page for that individual tweet. Copy the URL in the address bar. Next, in your blog’s post editor, paste the URL on a line by itself (no HTML necessary).
Readers can interact with them just as they can in Twitter. Click the reply icon to join the conversation, retweet to share and favorite them to show appreciation. And as always, you can click the follow button to get the Tweets in your home timeline.
Webopedia says BYOD is a “phrase that has become widely adopted to refer to employees who bring their own computing devices – such as smartphones, laptops and PDAs – to the workplace for use and connectivity on the corporate network” …and the devices largely being chosen are built by Apple.
While the acronym began as a workplace metaphor, it has rapidly come to reflect the entire shifting game board of content management and delivery. It seems like only yesterday – aka a long time ago in Webspeak – that having a beautiful Flash animated HTML Website was the cat’s meow. Now it’s the kiss of death!
Remember, it was Nemesis who first attracted Narcissus to gaze into a pool where he fell in love with his own reflection and eventually died there. Your Website now must be much more than a pretty image. It needs to be alive and respond to who and whatever knocks in this BYOD world. In the early days it was browser-compatibility that challenged the Webmaster. Now, we are all content creators and the challenge rests in achieving device compatibility.
Let today’s release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear smartwatch be your wake up call. How will your Website look on its display screen, which measures 1.63 inches diagonally? With smartphones and tablets already becoming ubiquitous, electronics companies are building advanced computing technology into everyday objects such as wristwatches and glasses. Does your Web content shift in response?
It didn’t take a crystal ball to see this coming. On September 10, 2013, DesignWise Studios celebrates the 4th anniversary of our migration to using WordPress as a fundamental Web design and development platform. That’s because it’s a mobile-friendly BYOD content management system in a box. It’s responsive and continuously evolves with the ever-changing times. And better yet, it’s open source software, free of coded corporate secrets with a price tag to match.
I found my self captivated by an ad for a beer that I don’t drink, featuring a rap artist I’d never heard of …and I don’t even like rap music.
There is a subtle revolution going on. I was intending to watch Kevin Spacey speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival about the bigger revolution in the shift away from cable to Netflix – the only company that agreed to back him in the production of a “13-hour film” in House of Cards, without requiring a pilot.
Spacey says,”The audience has spoken. They want stories!”
And that’s why I stopped to watch the entire YouTube pre-roll commercial before watching Kevin Spacey, to learn the 1:51-minute story of a rapper named Ab-Soul.
“You can skip to video in 5 seconds.”
That’s it! In YouTube’s skippable ad format, advertisers only have 5 seconds to win over my interest and I am impatiently counting… Using short-form documentary in black and white, Budweiser manages to do so, launching an engaging new concept with a collection of Pivotal Career Moments they call Turning Points. It’s just one of six parts of the Made for Music campaign that Bud launched with Vice and Facebook in July, 2013.
I am excited because Bud is confirming a personal artistic direction that I have been developing – one in which authentic story content is presented by a funding sponsor. As a marketing consultant and doc filmmaker, my earned media approach is demonstrated in the following video I just produced on the recent Baylake Tall Ship Festival, a project funded by Shipwrecked Brewery Pub & Restaurant in Egg Harbor.
Meeting up with David HB Drake at the beer tasting tent was sheer luck, not to mention the fact that he was dressed in nautical attire and just happened to somewhat resemble the company’s iconic ship captain.
Jesse Horne, working the tent for Shipwrecked, was quick to improvise and I was fortunate to capture the moment, using their exchange as a tail to David’s performance of an original song he calls “The Lakes of Amerikey.” Here’s an opportunity for Shipwrecked to follow my lead and emulate Budweiser in building a campaign around the music of a talented musician and nautical historian that just happens to personify their brand.
Check out the DesignWise Studios YouTube Video Channel to see how others are adding short-form video to their marketing campaigns. Then, contact me to plan your own video campaign – from channel design and distribution, to complete professional video editing and production – all at DesignWise Studios.
David HB Drake has written more than 200 songs, many of them sea shanties and songs of the Seven Seas and Great Lakes. He is the official chanteyman of Wisconsin’s flagship, the S/V Denis Sullivan and educator at Pier Wisconsin Maritime Center. Living his dream, David has also served as chanteyman on the movie tall ship “HMS Bounty.” You may find him at pirate festivals appearing as “Graybeard, The Ancient Mariner” and he authors “Graybeard’s Advice for Lubbers,” a column in Pirates Magazine.
/ˈfævɪkɒn/ (short for Favorite icon), also known as a shortcut icon, Web site icon, URL icon, or bookmark icon, is a file containing one or more (animated gif) small, most commonly 16×16 pixels, associated with a particular Web site or Web page.
Various Web browsers provide different types of favicon support, but typically they display a page’s favicon in the browser’s address bar and next to the page’s name within the bookmarks.
If you are using WordPress CMSsoftware, Arne Franken‘s version 4.0 of All In One Favicon plugin supports a wide range of favicon formats (including the PNG icon for Apple Touch) and provides for the selection of specific locations within the Website where different favicons may be displayed.
You can create static or animated favicons in several different formats to install into your Website or you can search and select from numerous online archives of free, shared favicons. One of the best resources for both, is located at www.Favicon.cc.
“We now have a new nervous system on the planet, which is the social media and 5.7 billion cell phones. Facebook is the third largest nation in the world. We (three-quarters of the human species) can be connected without any of the gatekeepers stopping us at all. If used for the good, it can be the shift point on earth.” – Barbara Marx Hubbard (a prolific futurist, author and public speaker who is credited with the concepts of ‘The Synergy Engine’ and the ‘birthing’ of humanity.
On May 29, 2012 Google reported that 0.11 percent of the users of its Gmail service experienced login issues that lasted almost three hours. That figure may sound insignificant but it represents approximately 400,000 people for whom the “cloud” simply vanished. But then, it returned. Where and what is the cloud, you might ask?
Some describe the cloud as a metaphor for the Internet itself, defining a difference between the virtual and physical worlds. Others deny that point of view, seeing the cloud as a very real collection of hard-wired, external, physical devices that provide a means of communicating and storing information.
Whole Earth Catalog
When Stewart Brand spoke of the “hard-wiring of Planet Earth” as an “evolutionary process,” in the first edition of his Whole Earth Catalog in 1968, I had no idea that he was describing a day in the future when we would have instant communications and instant information retrieval from the cloud.
That’s because in 1968, personal information networks were only outbound, broadcasting media in one direction, from producer to consumer. In the 1980s, people started using personal computers and modems over the telephone lines to send and collect information. Two-way information-sharing networks started to evolve with the advent of online bulletin board systems (BBS) like The Well, a virtual community created by Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant in 1985. People began living a portion of their lives in the cloud.
In 1963 J.C.R. Licklider addressed his colleagues at ARPA as “…members and affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network,” in what some might describe as the first conception of what would eventually become the Internet. His published memos contain ideas regarding almost everything that the Internet has become, including cloud computing. The first uses of the actual term were in the late 1990s and by 1997 someone had actually tried, unsuccessfully to trademark it. In October 1997, cloud computing was discussed in an academic conference and described as a new “paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits.”
In November 1997, the first newspaper article on the subject was published which quoted Reuven Cohen with describing the cloud as a metaphor for the Web in explaining to programmers, “It’s a rebranding of the Internet. That is why there is a raging debate. By virtue of being a metaphor, it’s open to different interpretations.”
Part of the debate is who should get credit for inventing the idea. The notion of network-based computing dates to the 1960s, but many believe the first use of “cloud computing” in its modern context occurred on August 9, 2006, when then Google CEO Eric Schmidt introduced the term to an industry conference.
“What’s interesting is that there is an emergent new model. I don’t think people have really understood how big this opportunity really is,” Schmidt said. “It starts with the premise that the data services and architecture should be on servers. We call it cloud computing – they should be in a ‘cloud’ somewhere.”
The term began to see wider use the following year, when companies including Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM started to tout their cloud-computing efforts as well. That was also when it first appeared in newspaper articles, such as a The New York Times report from November 15, 2007 that carried the headline “I.B.M. to Push ‘Cloud Computing,’ Using Data From Afar.” It described vague plans for “Internet-based supercomputing.”
In 2012, I sit before a screen in Fish Creek, Wisconsin and see an unfamiliar name, Namie Amuro. Instantly, I discover that she is a Japanese singer, once a member of the pop group Super Monkey’s 4. Seconds later, I am listening to her songs on Spotify. Because I now possess a free share in the commonwealth-of-information, I have access to the cloud… a complex, multi-media, digital network previously denied to many by social rank and geographic location. But global consciousness is rapidly evolving.
Paper catalogs and mail-order have become Amazonian e-commerce data silos, filled with customer accounts, sales and product data – instantly accessible from almost anywhere on Earth. Telephone books are as irrelevant as the nightly news and weather. It’s all accessible 24/7 in the palm of your hand.
The first hand-held calculator, invented by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments
In 1967, the most exotic electronica was a Texas Instruments handheld calculator that cost more than a $100 dollars and spit data out on a paper tape. Forty-plus years later, I am driving through my rural Wisconsin town, stop and take a photo of the harbor and I feel like sharing it. I write a comment and post it on-the-spot for my Facebook friends all over the world to see and comment on… using my handheld smartphone!
We may be thousands of miles apart and yet we remain intrinsically connected. The cloud I manifest is an infinite collection of circles, filled with information, shared by friends. And the cloud just keeps getting bigger, better, cheaper, faster, more robust – via ever smaller devices that blur the boundaries of a wired world.
“Hey You! Get Offa My Cloud! We are all Rolling Stones” first appeared in 2012, N.E.W Voices; Vol 1, No. 2 – A Literary Platform for Wisconsin Writers, pages 6-8.